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Millman hunting more success

February 3rd 2013 12:12
IN-FORM Queenslander and Burnie titlist John Millman will take a career-high ranking into this week’s inaugural Charles Sturt Challenger at West Lakes, South Australia.
Millman, 23, is set to rise to about 160 in the world – his previous best of 179 was from late 2010 – when the new rankings come out tomorrow.
He is riding a wave of success already this year, having qualified then pinched a set from US Open champion Andy Murray at the Brisbane International and pushed world No. 84 Tatsuma Ito to five sets in the first round at the Australian Open.
Millman beat Stephane Robert 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 in the Burnie decider on Saturday night and will face the veteran Frenchman again in the opening round at West Lakes.

Queenslander John Millman is on the rise. Picture: AAP

It is not the only quirk in this week’s draw, with Sydneysider James Duckworth and Great Britain’s James Ward and Australians Alex Bolt and Matt Reid to reprise their respective opening-round battles from Burnie.
Ward and Reid, runner-up in the Australian Open Wildcard Playoff in December, won the first edition.
There will also be much interest in wildcard Nick Kyrgios’ match-up with Brydan Klein – a clash of the respective 2013 and 2007 Australian Open boys’ champions.
West Australian firebrand Klein has had a rough start to the season and a loss to big-hitting Kyrgios, who has already proven himself a worthy adversary in senior company, would be a blow.
Other intriguing first-up contests include Greg Jones and Adam Feeney, Italian Alessandro Giannessi and fast-rising Burnie semi-finalist Matt Barton, and the battle of the big servers between Sam Groth and Davis Cup representative Chris Guccione.
One disappointment is 19-year-old Melburnian Andrew Whittington, fresh from an impressive run to the quarter-finals at Burnie, will not feature in the main draw.
Whittington, whose ranking will improve from 787 to inside the top 650 tomorrow, had to enter qualifying and he defeated countryman Jacob Grills before retiring with a toe problem when trailing American Erik Elliot 4-6 0-2.
Former New Zealand Davis Cup player Rubin Statham will look to improve on his semi-final showing at Burnie.
Japanese duo Yuichi Sugita and Hiroki Moriya, ranked 133 and 175, respectively, are the top two seeds from Canadian Peter Polansky (181).
Elsewhere, Burnie women’s champion Olivia Rogowska, of Melbourne, headlines the draw at this week’s Launceston-based event, which also includes South African Chanel Simmonds, Japan’s Erika Sema and Burnie runner-up Monique Adamczak.

I am the Shepparton News' sports editor and hope to start a tennis website this year. Follow me on Twitter at @Marc_tennis and/or @marcmcgowan84.


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