John Millman could have played the 2013 French Open but turned a wildcard down.
John Millman could have played the 2013 French Open but turned a wildcard down.

It’s not for the money: Millman keeps it in perspective

WHEN John Millman says he doesn't play tennis for money, the form is on the board.

Millman, back when he really was battling financially on the tennis circuit in 2013, stunned many in the dog-eat-dog world of men's tennis by handing back a wildcard from Tennis Australia into the 2013 French Open which would have guaranteed him a $38,400 pay cheque.

It would have represented 12 per cent of Millman's career earnings at that time, but a shoulder injury which would soon need surgery led him to decide he should not deprive a healthier countryman of an opportunity at a Grand Slam.

"It was not just the money, it's that I was playing extremely good tennis when I got injured that shook me,'' the 29-year-old told News Corp Australia.

"I learnt from it that you have to let people help you out.''

Millman is guaranteed $662,000 in US Open prizemoney even if he loses his quarter-final, more than doubling his prizemoney from what had already been his most lucrative year as a professional.

A quarter-final win would see his prizemoney become a guaranteed $1,291,900.

"It's not for the money. It's for the opportunity to play these historic events,'' Millman said.

Millman's reference to letting people help him out as his career developed includes the assistance from coaches and sports science specialists at Tennis Australia's Brisbane academy, where he trains.

"John's involvement here has been a big collaborative effort here,'' TA academy manager Chris Mahony said.

"Mark Draper spent a lot of time on the road with him (as a TA coach) the last few years. Wayne Arthurs has spent a lot of time on the court with him (at the QTC). Mark Taylor and Adam Schumacher and the physio guys have given John what he needs when he is home.

"John has the reputation for being one the hardest workers and I heard Roger say in an interview after his (third round) win that the players in the locker room respect John's work ethic.''


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