World No.55 John Millman sensationally knocked out Roger Federer to reach the quarterfinals of the US Open under the lights in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday.
Millman, who’s now the first Aussie to reach the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows since Lleyton Hewitt in 2006, lost the opening set, but showed admirable composure and resilience to rally back and claim a 6-3, 7-5, 7-6, 7-6 victory in three hours and 34 minutes.
Absolutely stunning upset as @johnhmillman defeats Federer 3-6, 7-5, 7-6, 7-6 under the lights in Arthur Ashe Stadium!
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 4, 2018
“I’m probably in a little bit of disbelief,” said Millman in a post match interview. “He’s been a hero of mine and today he was definitely not at his best. But I’ll take it.”
Federer had earlier said winning the US Open was a priority this year, but losing to a player outside the Top 50 for the first time at this event means he will have to wait another year to end his decade-long title drought in Flushing Meadows.
And the Swiss, while being full of praise for Millman’s performance, blamed a lack of air for his defeat.
“It was very hot tonight,” said Federer.
“It was just one of those nights where I guess I felt I couldn’t get air. There was no circulation at all. I don’t know, for some reason I just struggled in the conditions tonight. It’s one of the first times it’s happened to me.
“But John was able to deal with it better. He maybe comes from one of the most humid places on earth, Brisbane. I knew I was in for a tough one.
“Maybe when you feel like that, as well, you start missing chances, and I had those. That was disappointing. But, look, at some point also I was just happy that the match was over, I guess.”
Millman, meanwhile, will hope to score another major upset when he takes on 13-time Grand Slam champion, Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, Carla Suarez Navarro, on her 30th birthday, defeated five-time Grand Slam winner, Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals.
Navarro will next play Madison Keys, who finished as a finalist last year.