WELL, who saw this coming? The answer is no-one.
Everyone was talking about a box office US Open quarter-final clash between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. But what about Aussie John Millman?
No-one gave him a chance in this fourth round clash – his first ever at a major – yet at the end of an absorbing, at times surreal, evening which stretched into the small hours it was the world no 55 who was celebrating the greatest win of his career to leave Federer totally and utterly floored.
The final score read 3-6 7-5 7-6 7-6 to the man no-one gave a chance to.
And how he deserved it.
To put this shock into context, the world no 2 was 40-0 at Flushing Meadows against players ranked outside the top 50 before this. Millman's record against players in the top 10? 0-10. What a way to upset the odds.
A shell-shocked Millman said:”I am in disbelief, I have so much respect for Roger , he has been a hero of mine. He wasn’t at his best but I will take it .
“I felt like a deer in the headlights at the start, Roger was manipulating me and had the ball on a string.
“I started to be more aggressive and I capitalized on him having an off service day.
“I always bring the fight out . It’s what keeps me going. I am playing well, Novak is an incredible player , he moves so well.
He’s another guy I have looked up to. I only got a few games off him when we last played at Queen’s.
“But I am playing some good tennis at the moment.”
It was brutally hot even as the clock ticked past midnight but that suited the Aussie , ranked 235 a year ago, who is used to training in stifling conditions back in Brisbane.
Fed , normally such a well oiled tennis machine, was all at sea.
The Swiss legend's serve horribly misfired and the 20 time Grand Slam winning star was reduced to a sweaty mess.
Fed , for someone with such ridiculous high standards, was very scratchy last night.
He looked weary. His movement was sluggish in the sapping heat and humidity.
This was a stark reminder that he's 37 – and only human.
He cannot go on forever yet even so, it's always surprising to see him struggle.
But Millman was superb, asking questions throughout and no-one could begrudge him drawing level after dropping the opener.
From then on, the 29 year-old brilliantly powered on , his serving , fitness and power hitting helping seal the win of a lifetime to set up a Wednesday last eight crunch with Djokovic. He just never stopped attacking.
The final stats made amazing reading – 76 unforced errors from the Swiss (it’s only the fourth time in slams that Federer has hit double digits in the error count) and just 49 per cent of first serves in.
The first set was relatively straightforward but credit to Millman.
The 29 year-old hung in superbly and when he broke at the end of the second, all of a sudden Fed was serving to stay in it.
At that point the Swiss had uncharacteristically racked up seven double faults.
The boy from Down Under was enjoying himself and as soon as a set point appeared on the faltering Fed serve, it was duly taken as the former world no 1 hit long.
The match stats at the end of the second read 37 unforced errors for Federer. He landed just 36 per cent of his first serves. Basically, he just didn’t seem right.
Millman, however, was on fire. Federer managed to sort his serving woes out in the third although this was anything but the cakewalk many expected. At 5-6, Federer needed a hold to force the tie-break.
He managed that – yet the breaker was a rollercoaster affair. Millman saw one set point go begging.
nother quickly presented itself and when Federer sent the ball long, the Aussie was suddenly bang in the box seat and 2-1 up.
The Swiss was struggling but gradually awoke from his slumber and at 3-2 , managed to get a crucial break.
An easy volley was missed and Millman was able to hit back straight away.
It was razor tight as we headed into another tie-break. A ninth and 10th double fault from Fed allowed the Aussie to move into a 4-1 lead. Five match points up for grabs.
Two were saved but when another mistake from the Federer racket fired the ball long, the game was sensationally up.
It wasn’t a good night for another superstar either as the lights finally went out for Maria Sharapova.
The Russian ,a champ here in 2006, came into her match with Carla Suarez Navarro boasting a remarkable 23-0 record in US Open night matches.
But the Spaniard ,celebrating her 30th birthday and now looking forward to a quarter-final clash with American Madison Keys, was ruthless and ensured another slam slipped by for Shazza who has endured a wretched time at the majors since returning from a drugs ban last April.
She groaned: "The most disappointing thing is not being able to consistently put up the level from one match to another at a Grand Slam.
"It's just a little too up and down."
Bit like Federer last night.
WELL, who saw this coming? The answer is no-one.