John Millman acknowledges the applause of the fans after his performance.
John Millman acknowledges the applause of the fans after his performance.

Tomic v Millman: Soft touch vs Warrior

It was the French Open tale of two Queenslanders - the admirable grit of John Millman and the feeble surrender of Bernard Tomic.

Among other things, stark Roland Garros metrics illustrate the pair's gaping conviction divide.

Tomic vanished after only 82 minutes against Taylor Fritz, trousering just under $75,000 after "contesting" 170 points.

Millman departed after a sapping four hour, eight minute-battle against world No 5 Alexander Zverev, collecting the same fee as Tomic despite disputing 342 points.

The only similarity in conditions where grit was a necessity was that both Australians lost.

Beyond that, they had nothing else in common.

Millman knows nothing else other than to scrap.

 

John Millman gets a hug from Alexander Zverev after his gritty first round display.
John Millman gets a hug from Alexander Zverev after his gritty first round display.

He surprised nobody - least of all Zverev - as he left everything out on Philippe Chatrier Court.

He beat Roger Federer at last season's US Open, funnelling heavy humidity into an advantage as the Swiss maestro wilted in the Flushing Meadow sauna.

Against Zverev, Millman wrestled the match was played on his terms, challenging the fragile German physically.

From two sets down, Millman came within a whisker of a famous win, eventually falling in five.

One of the most amiable personalities on tour, Millman shares the occasional laugh with Tomic.

But their styles, personalities and commitment could not be more contrasting.

Tomic, undisputedly gifted, embodies little of what drives Millman.

 

Bernard Tomic earned derision for his shameless first round effort.
Bernard Tomic earned derision for his shameless first round effort.

Unlike Millman, titles, money and endorsements have come easily.

Too easily.

At 26, he is three years younger than Millman, but the Gold Coaster's future is less assured.

He has lost in the first round at six of the past seven majors.

Most of the defeats have been marked by an arrogant indifference to competing.

Millman is the sort of athlete who refuses to allow circumstance or reputation stifle ambition.

He has laboured with torn ligaments in his feet for more than year. It didn't stop him beating Federer in New York.

 

Bernard Tomic was humbled in the first round by Taylor Fritz .
Bernard Tomic was humbled in the first round by Taylor Fritz .

He has few of the gifts Tomic was born with, but his mobility - an ability to run for hours despite busted feet - and makes him a warrior.

He was born to compete has evolved into a winner, even when he loses.

Unsurprisingly, he has the complete respect of the locker-room.

As for Tomic, he's morphed into the perfect draw for every other male player on tour.

A shamefully soft touch.

Just ask Taylor Fritz.

News Corp Australia


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