John Millman: I'd come home from school and hit balls for hours alone on court

Millman recalls his childhood memories and credits his parents for his fighting spirit.

by Dzevad Mesic
John Millman: I'd come home from school and hit balls for hours alone on court

Australian tennis star John Millman, 30, has shared some of his childhood tennis memories as he couldn't wait to get back from school to hit the tennis court and practice for hours. But all the effort wasn't for nothing as Millman has been a professional tennis player on the ATP Tour since 2006 and he has made himself a nice career in the game of tennis.

"I’d go out there at 3.30pm after school and just hit balls for hours with no one on the court with me,” Millman said on HomeCourtTennis, as revealed on Tennis Australia. "You can see how that’s influenced my game style today.

“I probably should have spent a bit more time at the net”. The Australian admits he was having hard time dealing with losses as a junior and his coach wanted to change that. "I remember Ken (his coach) ringing up on the landline when I was eight years old and saying ‘if you cry in this tournament, you’re going to have to have a break from tennis for a bit’,” Millman said.

“The only thing worse than losing, was not being able to play tennis." Millman is known as one of the most competitive players on the Tour. "My mum and dad instilled in me from a very young age that competition is important and you’ve got to love to compete, but first and foremost you’ve got to be a good person, respect the game, respect your opponent and conduct yourself in a good manner,” Milman said.

“It’s tough for an eight year old to have those qualities, they have to learn them. My parents were incredible role models and they taught me that."

John Millman admits these times have been challenging and they required a lot of adapting

Millman admits he has had to adapt to certain things during the coronavirus pandemic and he has had to find ways of how train properly and keep himself in shape.

"We’re not home that often. We’re normally travelling up to 40 weeks a year, so I didn’t really have a set-up,” Millman said. “Normally I can go into the (Queensland Tennis Centre) and they have everything, so I’ve had to be quite creative in some of my gym workouts with limited equipment.

“Something I’ve found throughout my career is that when I’m working out physically, I love variation. I don’t like the monotony of doing the same exercises every single day. Yes, it is good to be diligent and stick to a program, but I also love a change of scenery.

Here in Queensland, as long as we weren’t congregating in more than groups of two, we could still get out once a day and get a bit of exercise”. John Millman has never won an ATP title, while his career-high ranking saw him sitting at No. 33 in the world.

John Millman