John Millman has booked a spot in the quarter-finals of the ATP Tour’s Kremlin Cup with a hard-fought win over qualifier Illya Marchenko.
The 32-year-old Millman overcame Ukrainian Marchenko 6-1 5-7 6-4, closing out the two hour and 28 minute encounter on his fifth match point.
Despite serving only two aces, Millman won 79 per cent of points on his first serve as he progressed to a showdown with third-seeded Karen Khachanov.
Russian Khachanov was pushed to three sets by Millman’s fellow Australian James Duckworth but ultimately prevailed 3-6 6-3 6-1.
It was a tight clash for two sets with a lone break in each proving decisive.
However, Duckworth faded after he dropped serve in the third game of the deciding set as home favourite Khachanov powered to victory.
Despite the loss the 29-year-old Duckworth is projected to move up two spots to a new career high of world No.50 – after earlier this month displacing Millman as Australia’s No.2 behind Alex de Minaur.
Meanwhile, former world No.3 and two-time Moscow champion Marin Cilic defeated in-form American Tommy Paul 7-5 6-3.