Queensland’s John Millman takes on American Tennys Sandgren tonight.
Queensland’s John Millman takes on American Tennys Sandgren tonight.

Federer-killer says stand by for more ‘Millmania’

JOHN Millman says he believes his best tennis is ahead of him in 2019 as he prepares to see out the year in which he beat Roger Federer with a Brisbane International win over American Tennys Sandgren on Monday night.

Millman returns to prime time at Pat Rafter Arena, just as he was when he wore down Federer at Arthur Ashe Stadium in September for a life-changing win.

"I'm 29 and I think if I have a good year with injuries I can go higher (than a career-best No. 35 achieved this year),'' Millman said.

"I've managed to play some of my best tennis in Brisbane. In its last edition (as an ATP tournament for men), I hope I can go out with a few wins and go on a run at one of my favourite tournaments.''

Former world No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov, who last summer became the third star to be dragged to a thrilling third set by Millman at Rafter Arena, said he had no trouble believing the Queenslander was capable of outlasting Federer.

"Each year, his body has gotten better and his game has had a lot of upside,'' said Dimitrov, who joined Federer and Andy Murray in being taken to a third set by Millman in his home city.

"He played lights out against me last year (in a Brisbane second-round match). He had a match point against me.''

John Millman during a practice session at the Pat Rafter Arena.
John Millman during a practice session at the Pat Rafter Arena.

Sandgren, ranked No. 61, said he was ready for "Millmania'' at Pat Rafter Arena.

"I'm aware he is a hometown hero and it will be fun,'' he said.

Nick Kyrgios will play doubles with American Taylor Fritz on Monday afternoon before his singles assignment, possibly on Tuesday, against the tenacious Ryan Harrison.

In contrast to the previous day's 15-minute session, Kyrgios was more mobile on Sunday, without having anywhere near as intense a 60-minute practice as many of his rivals.

Kyrgios claimed on Saturday that he had not practised "at all" this month before a spider bite on his foot on December 24. If taken at face value, he is relying on raw talent to get him a foothold in the January circuit.