John Millman’s tennis career has drawn to a close after the fan-favourite and partner Edward Winter went down 6-2, 6-4 to second seeds Matt Ebden and Rohan Bopanna.
The 34-year-old enjoyed an emotional farewell on Court 3 with tournament CEO Craig Tiley honouring and presenting gifts to Millman.
“I’m happy. I’m content,” Millman said on-court post-match.
The Aussie thanked the packed crowd for staying late to watch the doubles encounter, asking that they continue to enjoy future generations of local players.
“Just show all these young Australians the love and support you’ve shown me my whole career,” Millman said.
Earlier in the day, Jason Kubler and Rinky Hijikata began their Australian Open title defence in clinical fashion with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over fellow Aussie Chris O’Connell and Serbian Laslo Djere.
The pair won the 2023 event as wildcards, gaining a wave of local support for their charismatic and entertaining approach; one which is remaining the same this time around.
“For the most part, we have similar mindset to last year,” Hijikata told the media.
“We don't have too much expectation going into this tournament.”
The 22-year-old also tipped Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson as possible champions after the duo moved into the second round with a 6-2, 7-6 [10-8] win over Lucas Miedler and Alexander Erler.
“They could be the third straight Aussie pair to win the tournament. They're both unbelievable doubles players. They're going to be pretty tough to beat,” Hijikata said.
Jaimee Fourlis and Andy Harris were the first Australian mixed pair through to round two after defeating Andres Molteni and Anna Danilina 6-4, 6-4.
After tough singles losses, Alexei Popyrin and Thanasi Kokkinakis joined forces on the doubles court but were beaten 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4 by Aussie John-Patrick Smith and Andreas Mies.
Wildcards Dane Sweeny and Maya Joint earnt valuable Grand Slam experience on Court 13 in their 6-2, 6-4 defeat to seventh seeds Kevin Krawietz and Nicole Melichar-Martinez.
Arina Rodionova suffered defeats in women’s and mixed doubles, going down 6-2, 6-3 with Taylah Preston, before teaming up with Max Purcell on Rod Laver Arena and falling 6-2, 6-4.
Adam Walton and Priscilla Hon were overcome by sixth seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Nathaniel Lammons, going down 6-3, 6-2, before Kim Birrell and Olivia Gadecki bowed out 3-6, 7-6(8), 6-3 after having four match points against eleventh seeds Jelena Ostapenko and Lyudmyla Kichenok.
Ajla Tomljanovic and Daria Saville were outmatched by second seeds Elise Mertens and Su-Wei Hsieh, going down 6-1, 6-1, while John Peers and Harri Heliovaara fell 6-1, 6-4 to fourteenth seeds Nikola Mektic and Wesley Koolhof.
Aleks Vukic and partner Nuno Borges withdrew from their second-round match, as the Portuguese 26-year-old prepares for a singles clash with Grigor Dimitrov.