NEW YORK – Three-times champion Rafa Nadal denied John Millman any chance of posting another fairytale run in New York as he cruised by the Australian 6-3 6-2 6-2 in the first round of the U.S. Open on Tuesday.
Millman delivered the upset of the tournament last year when he beat five-time winner Roger Federer in a surprising run to the quarter-finals but he was unable to recreate the same magic against the relentless Spanish second seed.
Nadal said he came on court with a “lot of respect” for Millman.
“He showed last year what he is able to do when he is playing well,” he said. “Always at the beginning (of a tournament) the first match everything is a little bit new, even if I have played here plenty of times. The beginnings are not easy.
“To be the first match honestly I think I played a good match, hitting good backhands, some more mistakes maybe with the forehand than usual but generally happy with how I started.”