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Millman inflicts swift end to Thiem return

John Millman has shown former world No.3 Dominic Thiem how hard it will be to climb his way back to the elite ending the Austrian’s return to action at the first hurdle in Belgrade.

Millman, world No.80, won 6-3 3-6 6-4 in a two-hour, 35-minute tie to reach the Serbia Open second round.

Thiem was playing his first tour-level match since injuring his right wrist last June, subsequently undergoing surgery. At the time he had been in the world’s top five for more than three years. Inactivity means he is now outside the top 50.

“I can’t claim it was one of my biggest wins because he is just coming back from injury and I know how hard that is, coming back from three surgeries myself,” said Millman of Thiem.

“I know it has been tough for Domi but the game is better having him back. Especially on this surface. I have got to take this win because when he gets better and fitter, it is going to be tough.”

Millman has won 10 of his 17 tour titles on clay and he said: “It is great to be back here. I was looking forward to coming back and play.

Millman, 28, broke in the 10th game of the third set, going on to book a last-16 meeting with No.7 seed Miomir Kecmanovic who beat Richard Gasquet 6-0 6-3.

The winner is scheduled to face host Novak Djokovic (the venue is the Novak Tennis Center) in the quarter-final.

In the Barcelona Open Jordan Thompson lost 6-4 6-2 to Marton Fuscovics. The other Australian in the 48-man field, Alex de Minaur, received a first round bye. In the second round he faces Ugo Humbert, who defeated Pablo Andujar 6-4 6-3.

Also in Barcelona Norwegian second seed Casper Ruud dismissed Brandon Nakashima 6-3 6-2 and Argentina’s Diego Schwartzmann brushed aside another American, Mackenzie McDonald, 6-2 6-2.

Sixth-seeded Schwartzman will now meet Lorenzo Musetti, who advanced with a 6-4 7-6 (8) win over 12th-seeded Briton Daniel Evans.

American Sebastian Korda lost to Spanish qualifier Carlos Taberner 6-3, 6-0.

Tsitsipas, the top-seed, will make his bow against 44th-ranked Ilya Ivashka on Wednesday.

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