Magic runs out for Millman
JOHN Millman's desire to have one last magic moment at the Brisbane International was terminated by in-form Grigor Dimitrov.
It is the last Brisbane International, Millman, 29, expects to play, as Tennis Australia plans it to become a women's-only tournament from 2020 and play ATP Cup matches in Brisbane and other cities in the week's slot.
The Brisbane right-hander was unable to sustain a sprinkling of the standard of tennis which helped torpedo Roger Federer at the US Open and was eliminated 6-3, 6-4 by world No.19 Dimitrov.
Millman was down a set and two breaks of serve at 1-4 in the second set when he lifted his standard of play to hold two points for a 5-4 lead.
But sixth seed Dimitrov peeled off eight of the next nine points to clinch a quarter-final berth.
A near capacity crowd of 4000 at Pat Rafter Arena appreciated the hometown favourite's efforts, but Millman had said in recent weeks he wanted a big scalp or an extended run at the Brisbane International.
The Australian No.3 had dragged Dimitrov, then the world No.3, to three sets after having held match point in their second-round match at Pat Rafter Arena last year.
When his career had been less established, Millman had taken Andy Murray to three sets on the same, favoured court and led Roger Federer by a set and a break of serve.
"I know what it was like last year and I didn't want to make the same mistake,'' Dimitrov said.
"He fights super hard and he hit some beautiful shots when he was two breaks down. I kept good composure from 4-all.''
But Millman won only seven points in Dimitrov's five service games in the first set.
Millman is a direct entry into next week's Sydney International before going to the Australian Open from Monday week, where he says his experience will allow to handle his elevated profile due to his win over Federer in New York.