Australian John Millman in epic US Open clash with Roger Federer

Dean Simpson
September 4, 2018

WHAT IT MEANS: We're one step closer to a much-anticipated Djokovic-Roger Federer quarterfinal, which would be their 47 meeting on the ATP World Tour (Djokovic holds a slight 24-22 advantage) and their seventh at the US Open.

Federer had struggled with his timing in the early stages of his previous match against Nick Kyrgios before clicking into gear, but against Millman he just could not find his game. Millman's big rips on groundstrokes didn't help matters.

The 29-year-old, who had never previously beaten a top-10 opponent, appeared to have even less chance of winning with Federer a set and a break up and holding two set points, but he somehow clawed his way back to clinch a 3-6 7-5 7-6 (8/6) 7-6 (7/3) victory.

Federer had set points in both the second and third sets, but troubles with his serve infected his entire game and 77 unforced errors doomed the 20-time Grand Slam champion in the face of a determined attack from Millman.

"I'm really looking forward to making the most of a second week at a grand slam", he said.

Djokovic fulfilled his role in setting up the mouthwatering last eight clash by beating Joao Sousa 6-3 6-4 6-3. I still don't feel old.

"You have a team to get you ready, but sometimes you just have to survive". "I have prayed for that".

The German reached his lone Grand Slam quarterfinal at Wimbledon in 2012.

But Djokovic was reluctant to talk about his problems after the match. "He will not hand you the victory, you've got to earn it", said Djokovic, who will also have to contend again with sweltering heat and humidity that prompted organizers to reinstate the extreme heat policy that allows a 10-minute break in men's and women's matches that go beyond straight sets.

The other quarterfinal on the bottom half of the draw will be a rematch of the 2014 U.S. Open final: No. 7 Marin Cilic against No. 21 Kei Nishikori.

"I don't have any pressure, " said Nishikori, who was so crushed about missing the US Open past year that he couldn't even watch the tournament.

Nishikori missed the US Open a year ago because of a right wrist injury. "But [I'm] enjoying playing every match and enjoying playing tennis again a little more than before".

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