“Pretty Frustrating”: John Millman Reacts to First Round Knockout from French Open 2020

Australian John Millman once again suffered a disappointing exit from the French Open. He’s competed in the main draw for the past four years, but has never got past the first round. After making it five straight R1 exits with a loss at the 2020 French Open, the 31-year-old reflected on what’s going wrong from him in clay-courts. 

Millman is now out of the singles draw after facing a loss to Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta. The latter cruised to victory in straight sets as Millman was unable to hold firm with his serve. This is the first clay-court encounter between these two, and Busta now leads their overall meetings 3-1 with this victory. 

Mand REUTERS/Clive Brunskill

Of course, Millman is an excellent hard court player and a major threat. One can’t forget his incredible game against Roger Federer at Melbourne this year. But when it comes to slower surfaces, the Australian does not boast a successful record as he only won 37.9% of his games on clay courts (via UTS).

John Millman reflects on fifth straight R1 exit from Roland Garros

Over the years, we’ve seen Millman enter the main draw at RG and failing to get past the first round. What lies as the main factor behind his string of defeats? One really can’t question his skill set, as we’ve seen it in full flow on other surfaces. 

Millman had a few words to say after his R1 loss against Busta. “I don’t mind the dirt. I find this place pretty frustrating, I think I played it five times now, main draw. Every time I seem to play a pretty good player in the first round,” Millman mentioned. 

John Millman at the 2020 Italian Open
Mandatory Credit: REUTERS/Clive Brunskill

“If you go back and look at the draws, I think its been Isner, Bautista Agut, Shapovalo, Zverev, and now Carreno Busta. They can all play the right tennis,” he said. 

However, one can’t resent too much on a loss, as there’s lots ahead in the future. Likewise, Millman wants to shrug off the French Open defeat and stay hopeful for what’s ahead in the calendar. “Yeah, look, I’m probably looking forward to getting off it, hopefully reset and go again,” Millman stated

Millman cited strict quarantine measures that he has to undergo if he wants to return home to his country. “You haven’t really got any other choices but to keep playing,” he added. 

Though his singles campaign came crashing, Millman still has to stay inside the French Open bubble. He’s also competing in the men’s doubles, with fellow Australian James Duckworth.