Millman rides to rescue of beleaguered Aussies
JOHN Millman has saved Australia from a first-day Wimbledon wipe-out with a fighting four-set win over Italian Stefano Travaglia.
Millman battled back from a set down to advance with a 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 7-5 6-2 victory after Jordan Thompson, Jason Kubler, John-Patrick Smith and Ajla Tomljanovic all bombed out.
The 29-year-old's victory set up a showdown with 2016 finalist Milos Raonic, a 7-5 6-0 6-1 first-round winner over British wildcard Liam Broady.
After drawing Rafael Nadal in the first round last year, Millman has returned All England Club with a career-high ranking of No.56 in the world after a rare injury-free run.
Having also played eventual champion Andy Murray in round three two years ago, the Queenslander won't be daunted by the prospect of a show-court match-up with Raonic and the 13th seed's thunderous serve.
While Millman marches on, Thompson's fall from grace continues. A year after toppling Murray at Queen's, the
Sydneysider faces the prospect of needing to qualify for next month's US Open following his 6-2 6-4 6-3 first- round loss to 11th seed Sam Querrey.
"Result speak for themselves and I haven't done well this year," said Thompson, who tumbled out of the top 100 this week.
But fellow qualifier Smith was no match for Andreas Seppi in a 6-2 6-4 6-1 defeat to the seasoned Italian.
American 10th seed Madison Keys packed too much punch for Tomljanovic, the 2017 US Open runner-up powering to a 6-4 6-2 victory in her first match under the guidance of Australian coach David Taylor.
Aussie seeds Nick Kyrgios, Ashleigh Barty and Daria Gavrilova, along with Samantha Stosur, Matt Ebden, Bernard Tomic, Alex de Minaur, James Duckworth and Alex Bolt are all yet to open their campaigns.
HOW THE AUSSIES FARED:
Men's singles, first round: John Millman bt Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 7-5 6-2 Jordan Thompson lost to 11-Sam Querrey (USA) 6-2 6-4 6-3 Jason Kubler lost to Guido Pella (ARG) 6-4 7-5 4-6 7-6 (7-3) John-Patrick Smith lost to Andreas Seppi (ITA) 6-2 6-4 6-1.
Women's singles, first round: Ajla Tomljanovic lost to 10-Madison Keys (USA) 6-4 6-2.