“Good for him for playing a great match in front of his home crowd and being able to feed off that, and having a moment that I’m sure he won’t forget.”
De Minaur surged in the fourth set, taking it 6-0 fourth set but Gaston, buoyed by the vocal support, recovered in style before the gripping clash was settled by a super tiebreaker.
“I’m pretty sure it’s [the] first time I have played that I can recall a French guy here at Roland
Garros,” said de Minaur
“It was a new experience. I played on a massive court.
“We ended up playingfive sets, 7-6 in the fifth. Atmosphere was always going to be amazing.
“It felt like kind of an away Davis Cup match, and I thrive on that.
“What I know is I didn’t play my best tennis when I needed to in the ‘super-buster’. It’s a shame.”
After Australia’s opening-round losses included Thanasi Kokkinakis going down in four sets to Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Jordan Thompson falling victim to clay court king Rafael Nadal in a horror first round assignment, it was left to de Minaur and Millman to try to join Kubler at the next stage.
But 32-year-old Millman dropped out against rising American Sebastian Korda, 1-6, 5-7, 6-7 (6-8).
The stalwart was feeling the pinch in defeat. Millman, too, has readily lost early at Roland Garros – seven times from seven main draw berths – after drawing a string of tough opponents including then world No.10 Roberto Bautista-Agut (2021), Bautista-Agut a second time (2017), Denis Shapovalow (2018) and Alexander Zverev (2019).
,“It’s not my happy hunting ground,” the Queenslander said.
“As you get older, the body is probably not amazing, I’ll be honest with you.
“The back is a real battle. Yeah, on the days when you feel good you want to capitalise. But some of those days are few and far between.”
Millman said, in retrospect, he could have altered his playing schedule during the Australian summer following a demanding time on the tour caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think I was home for 12 days and the season started again,” he said.
“I felt like I started the season pretty average. Probably in hindsight I should have skipped the first couple of tournaments and just started at Aussie and had a bit more time off.”
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