Re: John "the Mailman" Millman Cheering Thread
January 3, 2013
A. MURRAY/J. Millman
6‑1, 5‑7, 6‑3
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Well done, mate. Was it everything you dreamed it would be out there?
JOHN MILLMAN: In my dream I won. (Smiling.)
No, I've probably never been more proud of being a Queenslander. I can definitely say that. The support I've had not just in this match but over the past week through qualifying has been unbelievable.
Yeah, I'm a very proud Queenslander. Just the people people that I know and the people that I don't know have come out in droves to support me. I'm very thankful to them, and I hope that I can give them some more things to cheer about in the future.
Q. You came out strong but the first set got away from you. What did you think going into the second set? What was the plan?
JOHN MILLMAN: To be honest with you, I think if I look back to the first set I think I was hitting the ball pretty well. I think Andy is a phenomenal player. I think one of his biggest things is how well he defends. He has an incredible defensive game and obviously can attack, too, so he does everything.
But I felt as if I actually wasn't playing too badly. Just on a couple of big points Andy just did it a little bit better than me.
Maybe that's experience. Obviously that's his ability, too. But it was important for me to get off to a good start in the second set, and I knew that. So I went about doing that and changed it up just a little bit, changed the pace just a little bit.
But, you know, I've always been one who fights to the last point, and I don't get people who tank. I've been brought up that way. I wasn't going to go away in the second set, and I gave myself the chance to win it and I took it.
Q. Is that your best tennis? Is that fair to say?
JOHN MILLMAN: I hope I can play better, you know. I can't be settled to lose matches, regardless of who you're playing. That's not being cocky, but at the end of the day you start off at zero‑al and you want to win regardless of who you play.
Obviously it's early in the season for Andy, and it was a good opportunity for me. I tried to take it with both hands and I fell just short. But it's something I've been working on. I know I have the ability and training to step it up. I've been pretty unlucky with injuries. I've had one full year on tour pretty much, and that was last year.
In training and my coach would tell me I'm hitting the ball ‑‑ sometimes I wouldn't believe him, but he said that I'm hitting the ball like as good as I can hit it.
So I know that I can play to that level. What it is I think now is just having the ability to do it week in, week out, day in, day out in training. And having that mindset, you know, having the mindset of getting up in the court and being aggressive when it's on there and defending well when it's on there, too.
So I think that's what's important for me, and that's what I'm going to be doing in 2013. Hopefully it'll reflect in a rise up the rankings.
Q. How much confidence do you take from taking a set off someone like him moving forward to when you meet someone of that rank again?
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah, obviously you want to put yourself in a position against these guys as often as possible because experience is invaluable in this game. Next time I'll be better off.
Four years ago I played on center court against Stepanek and it was 6‑4, 6‑0. I was pretty young then. I think I've come a long way since then, despite facing a few hurdles with a few injuries.
But I think that I have the ability, and that shows that I do have the ability to be a lot higher ranked than what I am. That's what I'll be looking at building in 2013.
Q. He's got an Olympic gold medal, Grand Slam win, $5 million in the bank last year. Realistically when you stepped on the court did you think you could win?
JOHN MILLMAN: I mean, Andy, I have so much ‑‑ he wouldn't have known me before me today, and that's understandable. I'm not having a go at him. There are a lot of players out there and he's played some terrific ones.
But I think I was playing every point with Andy at the US Open. I wanted him to win it as much. I think a lot of people did, because I think that he's an extremely talented individual. I think that you look up to those guys a little bit.
But I said before I played that, you know, I put myself in that position. I deserve to be there. You know, we start off at zero all. I'm not going to go out there and give the win to someone before I play him regardless of who it is.
That's how I've been brought up and that's my mentality. I'm going to leave no stone unturned and have no questions now. I gave it my all out there and fell just short.
Do I have regrets with my performance? I don't. Next time I would like to win, but I'm confident that I can turn close matches into wins next year ‑‑ or this year‑‑ and have big results. I'm hoping I can execute that.
Q. A match like that when you're pretty close with the best in the world, you'll sort of now go back and have a look at that game and say what are the little parts of my game I need to improve or maybe the parts of Murray's game that got me?
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah, definitely. I think I learn from every game. I write down after every match things that I could have done better and things that I picked up from my opponents. I have a little book there back home. I definitely will do.
I think there are a lot of areas in my game that I can improve, and think even tonight there were areas where I could improve. I think that's probably the best thing to come out of it, is the fact that I brought a pretty high level out there.
There are so many areas I feel like I could improve. I would be pretty worried if I didn't have anything to improve on. I think that would be bittersweet, but I that think I have a lot areas to improve on, and that's something that next year ‑‑ well, this year. Sorry, I'm still in 2012. But 2013 I've been given a coach to share with a few other guys. I've been doing it by myself, and that's tough. It's tough on tour. You're away for ten months of the year.
When you're by yourself you don't have anyone to feed you balls or toss off ideas to. You have your head and my little notebook. So I think that's going to help me, and I think I can make significant improvements. Hoping next year I don't have to go through quallies.
Q. Is the coach Gary Stickler?
JOHN MILLMAN: He's my coach when I'm back home in Brisbane. He's been my coach for a long time, and I have so much respect for Stick. He's helped me out so much in everything.
Stick is getting on. He's got a few business ventures here. It's Ben Mathias with a few of the other guys, and hopefully we can push each other along and get up there.
When I'm back here I'll be working with Benny and Stick. When I'm away, you know, I think we can work together.
I'm really looking forward to this year and this summer. The summer is not over for me. I've got some big tournaments coming up.
Yeah, I hope I can put myself in positions to play these tournaments week in week out against these opponents.
Q. Andy said that his homework revealed you had some character and you're a hard worker. How does that make you feel that the No. 3 player in the world now knows this much about you?
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah, I mean, I heard a little bit of Andy's interview at the end, and it's extremely satisfying to hear someone that you've looked up to say nice things about you.
I think I do have a bit of a reputation on the Challenger Tour that I won't give in. I don't understand people who do. I think that's something that players know when they play me, is that I'm tenacious and I'll keep going to the last point.
Q. What do you think of Tomic's performance?
JOHN MILLMAN: I've grown up playing with Bernard. I think he's an extremely talent individual. He's got talent in spades, and with his great win against Djokovic, hope he has a good summer.
Q. When you see that sort of result, so you see yourself beating those top players?
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah. I've never really felt‑‑ I've hit with a lot Australians, and I think we're on a new generation and I think it's as positive generation.
I think a lot Australian players are making inroads, but I've never really felt myself too far away from them. Injuries held me back, but ‑ touch wood ‑ I'm over those injuries.
I'm really hopeful and confident that I can put in the work and get the results to be up this with them.