Role reversal for Murray and Millman
Originally published on 02/07/16 00:00
The pair have met once before at the 2013 Brisbane International. Murray won on that occasion, but the then world No.199 took the Brit to three sets at his home event.
This time, it will be Murray who will enjoy home advantage at the All England Club. But world No.67, who upset No.26 seed Benoit Paire in the second round, is relishing the opportunity to play the 2013 champion at Wimbledon.
“It’s going to be great,” said Millman, who also reached the third round at this year’s Australian Open. “It’s a bit of the reversal of roles. It’s quite a bigger tournament, but I played him in my home tournament in Brisbane. Obviously it’s a little bit different now at Wimbledon, but it’s what you dream of.
“You dream of playing on the biggest courts against the biggest players. I feel as if I deserve to be there. Third round Wimbledon, it’s uncharted territory for me.”
Murray, who is yet to drop a set at this year's Championships, recalls their only previous meeting in Brisbane three years ago. Millman, who had come through three rounds of qualifying to reach the main draw, beat Tatsuma Ito in the first round before falling 6-1 5-7 6-3 to the reigning US Open champion, who went on to win lift the trophy – one of four titles that year.
“I didn't know him before we played in Brisbane,” admitted Murray. “He played extremely well that day. He was ranked about 200 at the time. I came off the court and I said to [then coach] Dani Vallverdu, who I was working with, ‘he's top 50 for sure if he keeps going’. He moves well. He has a great attitude.”
Millman has never stepped foot on Centre Court before, but he hopes his previous big-match experience will prepare him for the occasion. The 27-year-old met Roger Federer in Brisbane last year and played on Rod Laver Arena – the Australian Open’s main show court – when he took on Bernard Tomic in January.
“I have played a couple of biggish matches now,” said Millman. “I feel as if I have played on a couple of the bigger courts. Obviously this is another step, another challenge.
"But these are the matches you live for and these are the ones you will remember for the rest of your life. I plan to go out there and I plan to make the most of it, and I plan to put up a great showing.
“I respect Andy a lot. I think he's such a great player. Especially over five sets, I think it's a whole different ball game against him. But we start off at 0All. I have never been one to go out with an intimidated mindset before I play. I think that that's being disrespectful to the game. I'm going to give it everything.”