No. 55 John Millman Stuns No. 2 Roger Federer to Reach US Open Quarterfinal Against Novak Djokovic
(September 4, 2018) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY- There’s a first time for everything, even for Roger Federer at the US Open. The five-time champion was knocked out of the tournament in the fourth round for the first time by a man not ranked in the Top 50. That man was No. 55 John Millman of Australia 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (3). The match which ended close to 1 a.m. on Tuesday lasted 3 hours and 34 minutes.
The 37-year-old Federer was Fed-errors throughout most of the match hitting a total of 76 unforced errors including 10 double-faults, while serving at only 49% on first serves.
Millman by contrast had only 28 unforced errors and served at 64%.
The man from Switzerland failed to take advantage of opportunities as he seemed to be heading for a straight sets victory leading 6-3, 5-4, 40-15. He also had a set point in the third set.
Millman took advantage of Federer’s weaknesses and seemed to be not as bothered by the heat and humidity as Federer was.
“It was extremely humid out there” said the Australian. “I’m not usually much of a sweater. I mean, I was dripping. It was really humid out there today.
“The conditions for the majority of this tournament has been pretty brutal. I found it pretty tough early on to hold onto the racquet. It’s kind of moving around in your hands.”
“As the match went on, I probably became a little bit more comfortable. Yeah, in the end hopefully use it to my advantage.”
“I just thought it was very hot tonight,” Federer said. “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.
“Yeah, it’s uncomfortable. Clearly just keep on sweating more and more and more and more as the match goes on. You lose energy as it goes by.
“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.”
“I always was of the opinion that I was in the fourth round for a reason,” said the 29-
year-old. “I’ve never played anyone’s reputation. That’s been a constant with me for, you know, ever since I played the game. Because I think if you do that, then you start behind the eight ball straightaway.
“I started to find my feet a little bit I think in that second set when he served for it. I managed to break back. Yeah, started to get a lot more comfortable in the surroundings because it’s a different environment out there. It was a slightly intimidating environment. At the start I don’t think I was playing so well.
“But, yeah, as the match went on, I felt more comfortable, felt pretty good.”
“In all honesty, Roger’s a hero of mine. I look up to him. I really like his team. He’s always been, you know, one of the guys in the locker rooms, we’ll always chat, very approachable. He’s a hero of mine.
“I don’t know. I felt a little bit guilty today because he didn’t have his best day, and that’s for sure. I know that. I’m very aware he didn’t have a great day in the office. Probably to beat him I needed him to have an off day and I needed to have a decent, good day.
“But, you know, he’s a hero of mine. But in previous matches gone by, not just with him, but back home in Brissy, I know there’s a few Australian journalists here, I’ve always accounted myself pretty well. Even in some slightly bigger matches that I’ve played, I’ve always felt as if I’ve done a good job of not letting the moment get the better of me.”
Next up for Millman will be Novak Djokovic who defeated Joao Sousa 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 earlier in the afternoon in the warmest portion of the day. The No. 6 player had his own problems with the heat, needed a medical time out at one point.
Federer was asked what Millman needs to do against Djokovic to win. He said: “John, well, I love his intensity. He reminds me of David Ferrer and those other guys that, you know, I admire a lot when I see them, when I see how they train, the passion they have for the game. I love his intensity.
“He’s got a positive demeanor about himself on and off the court. I think he’s got a great backhand that he can protect very well down the line and cross-court. When you attack there in the wrong way, he will punish you, punish you every time for it.
“Yeah, then he has options, now especially where it’s a bit slower, to return in and return back. I think against Novak, he just has to bring it again, try to worry Novak, hope for another hot day, maybe, I don’t know.”
Can Millman pull off another upset? “Yeah, why not? Again, I’ll have to improve a lot on the last time I played him” said Millman. “He’s an incredible player. I think he’s in some really good form right now, too.”