"I'm gonna struggle" - Millman encourages Thiem with friendly banter after their match in Belgrade

Dominic Thiem was able to force a third set but ultimately lost to John Millman in his first ATP tour-level match since the Mallorca Open in June last year.

The 2020 US Open champion was drawn in the same quarter as home favourite Novak Djokovic but will now not face the world number one after falling to world number 80 Millman 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in the Australian’s first victory over the Austrian. When the two men met at the net after a more than two and a half hour encounter, Millman empathised with Thiem on his injury struggles.

He said:

“When you get 100% fit I’m going to struggle bud."

While he is currently ranked 54th in the world, Thiem will drop to at least 93rd next week as his 250 points from winning the Barcelona Open in 2019 drop from his ranking. He will drop a further 450 ranking points between now and Roland Garros from his 2021 results in Madrid and Rome, which could see him fall outside the top 200 for the first time since he was just 19 years old in August 2013.

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