Bernard Tomic has dispatched compatriot John Millman in straight sets, setting up a fourth-round Australian Open clash with Andy Murray.
Tomic, the only Australian remaining in the men’s draw, was fully expected to account for world No.95 Millman on Rod Laver Arena.
That is how the match transpired, but Tomic’s 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 victory was no walk in Melbourne Park.
The tussle wrapped up at 12.33am on Sunday morning.
Part of that was Nigel Sears’ health scare in the preceding match, which resulted in a delay of almost one hour.
Another part was Millman’s dogged determination in the highlight of his career, a grinding battle that lasted two hours and eight minutes.
“I’m not the best at long rallies … it was difficult at times. I had to rely on my serve and I felt like I served well tonight,” Tomic said courtside.
“I knew it was going to be tough … he was going to make a lot of balls.
“I had to change my game.”
What Millman lacked in power and aces he made up for in persistence and pace.
The greatest example was the second set, which lasted a tick under an hour.
Millman was broken to love in the opening service game of the set but refused to go quietly.
The 26-year-old forced a tiebreaker, only for Tomic to take a 4-0 lead after a pair of aces.
Tomic was too consistent on court and dominant on serve in the match, sending down 20 aces in total.
The 23-year-old, who burst onto scene when he reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2011, has lost all three of his previous clashes with Murray.
The most recent came in last year’s Davis Cup semi-final at Glasgow.
“I have to go out there believing I can win … and serve the way I’ve been serving,” Tomic said.
“I need to play the right tennis I’ve been playing the past month and really take it to him.
“It’s going to be an amazing match. He’s one of the best players in the world.”