ATP Winston-Salem: John Millman downs top seed Richard Gasquet in straight sets

In the quarterfinal stage at the ATP Winston-Salem Open, unseeded John Millman of Australia knocked out his second seeded player of the week in top seed Richard Gasquet after a 7-5, 6-3 victory. The world ranked 81 plays Pablo Carreno Busta in the semifinals on Friday. 

John Millman rides wave of breaks to win the opening set

Both players got the match underway with comfortable holds of serve. With the score locked at 3-2, the match came alive. At deuce, Gasquet put a backhand wide at the net to five Millman the first break point of the match. In the previous point, Millman failed to take advantage by putting a forehand of his own wide as the score went back to deuce.

The Frenchman went on to win the next two points and level at 3-3. The Frenchman forced the world number 81 to deuce before gaining a break point and going on to break Millman at the second attempt. However, the Frenchman failed to consolidate serve as Millman broke immediately back following a netted forehand from his opponent as the set moved to 4-4.

ohn Millman of Australia returns a shot to Richard Gasquet (Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
ohn Millman of Australia returns a shot to Richard Gasquet (Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

The consecutive breaks continued. With a break point chance at advantage, Millman threw in an error of his forehand side which put Gasquet ahead once more at 4-5. The consecutive breaks continued as the Australian hit a forehand crosscourt winner to bring the set level at 5-5. For the first time in the match, he consolidated the break to go ahead at 6-5.

The Aussie continued to perform to high standards and on the Gasquet serve, he gained match point after his opposition hit an attempted overhead into the net. The 27-year-old needed only one chance to close out the set for 7-5. 

Millman comes from a break down to clinch victory

With the momentum firm with Millman, he made sure to take advantage. Both started the set with a hold of serve. But in the third game, the Frenchman upped his game. At love-40, the Aussie saved the first of three break points, however, he couldn't save anymore as he flashed a  forehand wide to give Gasquet the advantage. The 29-year-old hit a dropshot and held serve to consolidate the break and to go 3-1 up in the second set. Following a recent back injury, the lack of matches was starting to catch up with Gasquet as Millman found his way back into the set.

John Millman attempts to return a shot (Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
John Millman attempts to return a shot (Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

With the score at 3-2 30-all, the Australian hit a timely backhand down the line which presented him with a break back opportunity which he took following an error from the Frenchman. Following the opening game of the set, the Australian went ahead and was looking the stronger of the two players at 4-3. In the very next game, Gasquet hit another forehand wide and Millman had a break point at 30-40 to go a double-break point. He won the next point and was now serving for a place in the semifinals. At 40-15 Millman served his way into the last four. 

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