Australian tennis star John Millman crashed out of the US Open quarter-final as he was defeated by reigning Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, just days after his incredible win over Roger Federer.
In a tense straight-sets defeat, Millman lost 6-3 6-4 6-4 after visibly struggling in the searing heat in New York on Wednesday night (US time).
Lasting two hours and 48 minutes, the match saw both players rushing around the court and visibly tiring in the heat as the competition progressed. However, the turning point appeared to come when Millman abandoned the second set temporarily to change out of his sweat-soaked t-shirt – giving Djokovic a much-needed break in the process.
Djokovic praised previous Aussie underdog Millman in his post-match interview, telling reporters he left him struggling to keep up at several points.
“Credit to John for putting up a great battle,” Djokovic said, according to news.com.au.
“He’s a great fighter. He’s had an amazing tournament, it’s his first quarter-final. He deserves a round of applause definitely.”
However, he added that Millman lost his chance when he chose to leave the court for his outfit change. The break was all Djokovic needed to rejuvenate and make an epic comeback against his opponent.
“I said man go ahead,” Djokovic recalled to reporters. “I’m actually OK sitting down for 10 minutes. I needed that rest so it was great… I was struggling. He was struggling. We were all struggling out there.”
Djokovic now progresses through to a semi-final against Kei Nishikori.
And it comes after Millman’s incredible victory over Federer just days ago, which saw him achieve one of the most shocking results in US Open history.
In what was the 29-year-old’s biggest match of his career, Queenslander Millman – who was world number 55 at the time – shot to victory and won 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 7-6 in four sets.
Speaking of his shock after his victory, the Mail Online reports Millman said: “I have so much respect for Roger and everything he’s done,” before adding: “I got out of a tough second set, found my feet and think I served really well.”
He put his overall win down to his fighting spirit and added: “The one thing I can control is the fight in me, I’ve always done that in my career, always always pulled the fight out.”