The Davis Cup group stages are going on in full swing. Being hosted by three nations, the cup welcomes everybody’s favorite tennis stars after the end of the tour. As countries go head-to-head, the Davis cup is rife with shock losses and heroic efforts.
Australian World No. 72 John Millman made a valiant effort for his team in the Davis Cup tie against Hungary. Going up against World No. 282 Zsombor Piros, Millman fell short, losing the tie 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. The 22-year-old Hungarian dug deep to come back from a set down and deliver Millman the defeat.
John Millman is “empty- mentally and physically”
Led by former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, the Australian team’s hopes of staying in the Davis Cup seem weak. They certainly believed that reaching the quarter-finals was a possibility before both Alexei Popyrin and John Millman fell short.
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – September 15, 2020 Australia’s John Millman after his first round match against Portugal’s Joao Sousa Pool via REUTERS/Clive Brunskill
However, their hopes are now dissipating fast. Team Captain Hewitt had replaced the 22-year-old rookie in Popyrin with the vastly experienced Millman. Nevertheless, better results were not borne for Team Australia.
On his defeat against a player 210 ranks below him, John Millman admitted to being exhausted on multiple fronts.
John Millman: When you step on the court for Davis Cup, there are no excuses. Regardless of how you’re feeling, you got to find a little more than what I did today. Yeah, the tank’s pretty empty mentally and physically if I’m to be honest with you. It’s nearly 11 months now away.
— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) November 27, 2021
Undoubtedly, an entirety of eleven months away from home on tour has to take a toll on a player. Moreover, there’s only a month, and a half left before the tour kicks off again in Melbourne, Australia. Certainly, tennis has the longest season of any sport.
Millman had secured Australia their spot in the Davis Cup Finals
Back in March 2020, it was John Millman himself who had fought for Team Australia‘s spot in the finals. Coming back from a set down in two matches consecutively, Millman had secured Australia their unbeatable lead over Brazil.
Team captain Lleyton Hewitt had been all praises for Millman after his consecutive victories. “That is what Davis Cup tennis is all about,” he had exclaimed. “Johnny had to come out here and back up what he did yesterday – and what a performance.”
John Millman of Australia celebrates winning his match against Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada during day three of the 2020 ATP Cup Group Stage at Pat Rafter Arena on January 05, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Despite the loss, Hewitt remains all praises for his 32-year old teammate. “John really bleeds green and gold. He’s a fantastic team man as well and the boys love having him around,” Hewitt stated, praising Millman’s dedication to the nation. ‘[h/t tennisworldusa.org]
Australia has finally taken a 2-1 lead over Hungary in their Group D standings. However, due to their 0-3 loss against Croatia, it remains to be seen if the round-robin score qualifies them for playing in the final tally.
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