World No. 38 John Millman insisted he didn't expect to have an easy job against 462nd-ranked Michail Pervolarakis at the ATP Cup. In the opening rubber of the Australia and Greece tie, Millman handed a straight-set defeat to Pervolarakis 6-2 6-3.
Last year, Millman edged out Pervolarakis at the ATP Cup 4-6 6-1 7-6 (1). This time, Millman won but avoided drama. Millman claimed two breaks in the first set and lost no service games to easily win the opener. In the second set, Millman broke Pervolarakis in the fourth game and then held on to his serve for the rest of the set to claim the win.
"I was expecting a really tough match, and it wasn't smooth sailing,” Millman said after the win, per the ATP website. “Last year… he really took it to me, so I thought I was probably a little bit more prepared this time around and just happy to get a bit of court time."
Millman enjoys representing Australia
"It's my favourite thing putting on the green and gold and playing for your country. I love team competition. [It] probably started off as a kid when I was playing school tennis and now I get to represent my country.
It's really special, not just to be around the boys and the team set-up, but to really be able to identify with the rest of the Australians cheering you on. It's a really special and humbling experience," Millman said.
In the second rubber, Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Alex de Minaur to force a decider. In the deciding rubber, John Peers and Luke Saville beat Pervolarakis and Tsitsipas to give Australia their first awin t the ATP Cup.
Saville, who is enjoying success on the doubles Tour, received a chance to represent Australia at the ATP Cup. “It was a massive privilege and honour to put on the green and gold. It’s my first time since under 16s, we brought a lot of energy and I’ve been working very hard over the past few months," Saville said.