ATP Budapest: Defending champion Lucas Pouille beaten by John Millman
John Millman in action against Lucas Pouille (Photo: Facebook)

Frenchman and defending champion Lucas Pouille crashed out of the Hungarian Open to Australian John Millman 6-3, 6-4. This means for the third successive tournament, he has failed to get past his opening match. 

Millman grabs opening set

The first three matches went on serve, with Millman ahead at 2-1. The Australian then brought up the first break point of the match at 30-40 by hitting a return winner bang on the line. The world number 14 saved the break point with a ferocious forehand to send the game to deuce.

Millman continued to put the Frenchman under pressure who was forced to save two more break point chances as he hung on for 2-2. The top seed then picked up his first break point following two deuces. Pouille sent a forehand into the net to miss his opportunity as he sent the game to a third deuce.

Lucas Pouille strikes a forehand return (Photo: Facebook)
Lucas Pouille strikes a forehand return (Photo: Facebook)

This time, the 28-year-old came through to go 3-2 up. The next two service games raced by with only the one point dropped by Millman, who led 4-3 thus far with a stunning forehand winner down the line. He once again put the defending champion under some pressure by grabbing triple breakpoints.

A forehand winner followed by an unforced error saw Pouille save two of the three break points faced. However, the 24-year-old hit a forehand long to concede the game and the break to fall 5-3 down. Serving for the opener and with a set point to his name, Millman served it out with an unreturnable serve to go 6-3 up on the defending champion. 

Aussie shocks defending champion 

Pouille started the second set by holding serve and then breaking Millman to go 2-0 up, showing excellent signs of fighting spirit early in the second set. But the Australian fought back in the third game to earn two break back points, 15-40 with an excellent backhand return which led to Pouille skying the return.

Pouille gifted the break back by serving up a double-fault. Millman consolidated his break to draw back level at 2-2. The unseeded Australian continued to pile the misery on the number one seed by picking up two more break points, catching the baseline with a forehand winner.

Lucas Pouille congratulates John Millman on his victory (Photo: @HUNgarianTENNIS
Lucas Pouille congratulates John Millman on his victory (Photo: @HUNgarianTENNIS

Struggling to get his game going, Pouille sent yet another forehand into the net to fall behind 3-2. The Frenchman in the next game had two chances to break back but the Australian denied him twice and eventually held for 4-2. The next three service games went on serve, with only two points dropped with Millman up 5-4.

Now serving for his biggest win on the tour since his injury at the end of 2017, the world number 94 played an unreturnable serve to bring up two match points. At the first time of asking, Millman completed the upset over the top seed and world number 14 to send him packing.