John Millman of Australia returns the ball to Milos Raonic of Canada during their men's singles match on the third day at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Wednesday July 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
John Millman of Australia returns the ball to Milos Raonic of Canada during their men's singles match on the third day at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Wednesday July 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

Aussie becomes first Wimbledon dress victim

AUSTRALIAN John Millman became the first reported victim of Wimbledon's famous dress code at the 2018 Championships - forcing his father to make a mad dash just minutes before his second round match.

Millman has said he was warming up for his match with No. 13 seed Milos Raonic when tournament officials informed him his colourful undies were a violation of the All England Club's all-white dress policy.

The 29-year-old revealed after his tough 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (7/4) loss to the Canadian boom-server that the undies that caused all the bother are the same ones he has worn during previous Wimbledon campaigns.

Unfortunately, they were still deemed too bright for his white shorts and shirt.

He then had to send his dad Ron Millman scrambling to an apparel store nearby to pick-up some less conspicuous ball-huggers so he wouldn't be in danger of receiving a code-violation during his round of 64 match.

Millman, who affectionately refers to his father as "The Fox", said the foreign undies didn't affect his play.

The Queensland product joked his dad's slap-dash heroics had him back in his own good graces after earlier this week leaving him stranded in London for two hours. Millman went on in his press conference to light-heartedly reveal his father had earned a strike against his name for the inconvenience.

Hide your shame.
Hide your shame.

"I don't know where he got them (the undies) from, but he walks everywhere," Millman said.

"He walks here every day from Clapham," Millman said.

"The Lotto pants this year are really thin, which is good for us, it feels like you are playing naked out there.

"I shouldn't say this, but I have worn those undies, or similar types, for the last few years.

"But this year they came down hard, as they do. But The Fox delivered. Good man, he has rubbed half a stroke off."

Millman was able to take some solace from the fact he will reach a career-high ranking of No. 51 - as it stands - when the ATP Tour updates its rankings after the men's final.

"The way I have been hitting the ball I honestly felt I could beat a good few guys that are left in the draw," Millman said.

"That's not me being cocky or confident. I just thought there was a lot of guys that I could beat. I just come up against a pretty tough test in the big Canadian."

Millman was spotted sporting a shiny new pair of black undies during the game against Raonic - but wasn't punished for the occasional flashes of undergarment.

Wimbledon officials could easily have been distracted, however, by the bright flashes coming from Raonic's racquet as he thundered down 32 aces in a masterpiece of serving might.

The giant Canadian cranked up the fastest serve of the tournament on Wednesday night with a 147mph (236.5km/h) howitzer.

 

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 04: Milos Raonic of Canada (R) shakes hands with John Millman of Australia after their Men's Singles second round match on day three of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 4, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 04: Milos Raonic of Canada (R) shakes hands with John Millman of Australia after their Men's Singles second round match on day three of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 4, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

He also sent down 32 aces, one of which thundered into a ball boy on Court Two while a ball girl also felt the force of another Raonic rocket.

"You don't feel good when that happens," said the 27-year-old Raonic, who was Wimbledon runner-up in 2016.

"Normally by the first reaction of the kid, you can sort of tell how they are, if it hurts, this kind of thing. There was one that hit the boy. The boy I think was okay.

"There was one I hit a girl a little lower in the abdomen. I think she probably took a little bit more of a grunt than he did on that sense. I hope she's doing okay."

The ball boys and girls, all drawn from local schools, are no strangers to the power of Raonic.

Five years ago, a ball girl had to leave the court in tears after she was hit on the right arm by a 127mph (205km/h) serve during the Canadian's tie against Carlos Berlocq.

Raonic admitted it was hard to avoid causing pain particularly on a grass court, the fastest surface in the sport.

"Everybody is exposed. In that sense it could be a line judge. It could be anything. Because most of the time where the kids stand is if you hit it wide, it's not going to get to them," he said.

"It's more those kind of things if a player guesses the wrong way and it's a serve that's more into the body and the returner just lets it go by, where the kid or the line judge have their guard down.

"That's more where people tend to get hit. Not the serves that are sort of straight through that people are aware pretty early on are going to be aces."

On Tuesday, Nick Kyrgios was clocked at 136 mph (218 km/h) in his win over Denis Istomin.

The Australian also managed to accidentally lay low a ball girl out on Court 12. "That was tough," said the Australian.

"Originally when I heard the sound, I thought it hit the scoreboard. Then I realised it was her arm. It was tough.

"She started crying. She took it like a champ, though. I would have been crying, for sure."

- AFP