Millman Masters Munar To Reach Astana Open Quarterfinals

John Millman (photo: Kazakhstan Tennis Federation)

NUR-SULTAN/STARNBERG, September 22, 2021

John Millman remains undefeated in Kazakhstan’s capital city Nur-Sultan. The defending champion of the Astana Open battled past Jaume Munar from Spain in the second round 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-5 on Wednesday afternoon.

No. 5 seed Millman, who beat Adrian Mannarino in last November’s final in straight sets, converted five of his 10 break-point chances to advance to the quarterfinals after three hours and nine minutes.

“These long matches aren’t good in my old age, I tell you!” Millman said in his post-match interview. “But look, it was such a physical battle out there. I thought the level was extremely good. I thought I improved from yesterday in terms of how I was playing. But Mr. Munar, he’s a tough competitor.

“His body probably let him down a little bit towards the end. I’ve got to tell you, my body wasn’t feeling all that great, either. It was such a physical match and just so happy to extend my stay here.”

Millman will next take on the winner of the encounter between his compatriot James Duckworth and fourth seed Filip Krajinovic of Serbia.

Earlier in the day, Laslo Djere also had to go the distance against Italian young gun Lorenzo Musetti. The Serbian No. 7 seed struck nine aces and won 76 per cent of his first-service points to secure a 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-4 victory in two hours and 48 minutes.

In other second-round action, eighth favourite Ilya Ivashka of Belarus ousted Kazakhstani wild card entry Timofey Skatov 6-2, 6-3.

In remaining first-round matches Spaniard Carlos Taberner eliminated Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania 7-5, 6-4 and Emil Ruusuvuori benefited from the retirement of in-form Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi, a winner of six ATP Challenger Tour titles this season. The 22-year-old Finn was leading 6-2 when Bonzi was forced to stop playing due to illness. Soonwoo Kwon from South Korea beat Russian qualifier Evgeny Donskoy 6-4, 6-3.