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Bernard Tomic loses in 82 minutes, John Millman knocked out of French Open in five sets

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29th May, 2019
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Bernard Tomic and John Millman both left Roland Garros as first-round losers on Tuesday but that was where the similarities ended for the Queensland pair in Paris.

While Millman will limp into the grass season licking more wounds after a French Open near-miss involving five whole-hearted sets against Alexander Zverev, Tomic could hardly have cared less after surrendering in 82 minutes.

Revealing he had been playing the clay swing with torn ligaments in his little toe, Millman wasn’t content after falling short in his four-hour battle with the world No.5.

By contrast Tomic, three years his junior at 26, was indifferent about another lame grand slam exit that will lead to criticism of the one-time world No.17’s efforts. 

Tomic, who began at 11am local time, played like he had a lunch date on the Champs-Elysees in a soft loss to a bemused Taylor Fritz.

He nonchalantly raced between points as the young American exploited his apparent immobility, with the Australian even trying unsuccessfully to concede defeat prematurely.

Facing match point, Tomic seemed to signal to Fritz where he would direct his serve, then ran to the net to shake hands once it was hit for a clean winner.

He was forced to return to the baseline when his bemused opponent and the chair umpire insisted Tomic had faulted.

Millman has just begun his second set when Tomic was succinctly justifying his effort to media.

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“Well, I didn’t play good,” he offered.

Tomic said he agreed with compatriot Nick Kyrgios’s assessment that the French Open “sucked” but was careful to point out that he hadn’t thrown in the towel.

“Pretty sure I did (give my best effort),” he said.

“But, you know, (the) surface is not good for me.

“It’s just my game is not built for this surface. Everything I do is not good for it.”

Fritz admitted he didn’t quite know what to think of his first main draw win at Roland Garros.

“It was kind of weird; in the first set he hit some good shots but did not move, like, a lot,” he said.

“So I felt like if I kind of just worked the point, then I would win.

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“And then the second set … I thought he started playing very well and for a couple games there we were in, like, a battle.

“You have to stay focused and kind of like be ready for whatever.”

Millman had come from two sets down on his Roland Garros centre court debut to rattle the fancied German, who threw an almighty tantrum when he lost the fourth set.

But last year’s quarter-finalist found some inner calm in an inspired final set to land a 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 2-6 6-7 (7-5) 6-3 escape.

“It’s disappointing, because I feel like there’s a lot of people in the draw I would’ve beaten,” world No.55 Millman said.

© AAP