Millman puts victory in sock draw then has a bit to say
John Millman won the tennis match, but it was unclear who came out on top in the war of words with Jack Sock at Indian Wells.
The Australian showed all his renowned fighting qualities, bouncing back from a break down in the deciding set to progress to the second round.
The veteran rattled off five straight games to edge American Sock, 7-5 4-6 6-3 in two hours and 31 minutes.
Things escalated at the conclusion of the match with Sock barely acknowledging the Queenslander at the net.
It prompted Millman to approach Sock at his courtside seat.
‘‘I didn’t look at you, I smiled at you,’’ Sock said before the conversation became inaudible.
A clearly agitated Millman was heard to say: ‘‘But yeah, it’s my fault’’ as he walked away.
Earlier, the world No.58 did what he had to, winning 66 per cent of first-serve points, including four aces, and breaking Sock five times for the victory.
It sets up a showdown against 10th seed Jannik Sinner.
Also through to the second round was compatriot Aleksandar Vukic, after a 7-5 6-4 win over Pablo Andujar.
Vukic, ranked 202 in the world, had come through qualifying and has set up an all-Australian secondround encounter with Alex de Minaur.
De Minaur, the 22nd seed, had a bye in the first round.
The news wasn’t so good for Jordan Thompson.
The Sydneysider went down to South African former world No. 5 Kevin Anderson in straight sets.
The three-time Indian Wells quarter-finalist had never dropped a set to the 27-year-old in three encounters and maintained that record with a 7-5 6-2 victory in 84 minutes.
In his 10th appearance in the California desert, Anderson struck 10 aces and dropped only three points on his first serve to set a up secondround meeting with 17th seed Lorenzo Sonego.
Meanwhile, former world No.1 Andy Murray beat Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-2 in his first match as a wildcard. Murray fired five aces and connected on 82 per cent of his first serves against the French lefty.
Murray converted three of six break points; Mannarino failed in his lone chance to break.
Earlier, Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori finished emphatically to deny German Dominik Koepfer in their first-round clash.
The 22-year-old saved nine of 11 break points for a 6-7 (7-3) 6-2 6-0 victory, which set up a meeting with 24th seed and Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Karen Khachanov.
Elsewhere on the men’s side, Americans Jenson Brooksby and Ernesto Escobedo won their firstround matches.
Brooksby beat Cem Ilkel 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 and Escobedo defeated Holger Rune 6-4 6-1.