John Millman to face Novak Djokovic in Japan Open final

first_img Andy Murray beats Cameron Norrie to reach China Open quarter-finals Topics Unseeded John Millman has won through to his first ATP 500 final with a straight-sets defeat of Reilly Opelka at the Japan Open, setting up a showdown with world number one Novak Djokovic.The 30-year-old Queensland qualifier posted a 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) victory over the 210cm tall American on Saturday in just under 90 mins in the first meeting between the pair. Millman saved match points to beat Bradley Klahn in the first round of qualifying en route to the main draw. He has gone on to win six straight matches in Tokyo. Share on Twitter Read more Support The Guardian Fleeting nature of tennis greatness makes legacy building tough Since you’re here… Australia sport Read more Share on Facebook Novak Djokovic The world number 80 won 86 per cent of his first serve points and saved both break points he faced to clinch victory over Opelka, who sent down 13 aces. Millman broke Opelka’s opening service game on his way to a 3-0 lead. After staving off a set point in the 10th game of the second set to level at 5-5, he won the last four points of the subsequent tiebreak to wrap up the win.Millman is expected to soar 22 places to number 58 when next week’s rankings are released. He reached a career-high mark of 33 in October 2018. The Australian’s only other appearance in an ATP final was last year in Budapest, where he lost to Marco Cecchinato. In the Tokyo decider, Millman will face Djokovic, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over third-seeded Belgian David Goffin in the second semi-final. It will be Djokovic’s fifth final this season, not dropping a set in his four matches at Ariake Colosseum. Competing in the Japanese capital for the first time, he is trying to win a title on a tournament debut for the 10th time. center_img After controlling the first set, Djokovic broke Goffin in the first game of the second with a perfectly placed volley. Down 15-40 in the second game, he fought back to hold serve and never looked back. Goffin was the only former champion in the draw. He lost to Nick Kyrgios in the 2016 final before defeating Adrian Mannarino for the 2017 title. Djokovic, retiring with a left-shoulder injury during his fourth-round match against Stan Wawrinka at the US Open, has shown no lingering effects in Tokyo. The 32-year-old is pushing to finish as year-end number one for the sixth time to tie the mark held by Pete Sampras. match reports Share on Pinterest Share on Messenger Tennis Share on LinkedIn ATP World Tour Finals … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on WhatsApp Share via Email Reuse this contentlast_img read more