After Australia’s John Millman sent Roger Federer packing in the fourth round of the US Open the big question after who is that guy? was can he do it again?
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Photo: Australia’s John Millman has put his hand up for another big upset (Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
You have to admit Federer was not at his best against Millman, he started well but then the energy-sapping humidity ate away at the great man. Federer served below 50%, something that is rarely seen.
You have to give credit to Millman, Federer was serving for two sets to nil advantage and was 40-15 up. Millman didn’t give in, he kept the ball in play when needed and worked his way into the match. From there we know history was made and Millman booked a spot in his first grand slam quarterfinal against former world no. 1 Novak Djokovic.
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Photo: Novak Djokovic goes into the quarterfinal match against Millman as a hot favourite. (Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Djokovic has won the US Open in 2011 and 2015 and is one of the great players in tennis. After a long injury layoff, Djokovic announced that he was back to his best when he won Wimbledon earlier this year.
In the US Open lead-up events Djokovic lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the round of 16 at the Rogers Cup in Canada and then he won the Cincinnati Masters defeating Federer in the final. Along the way to the title, he played four three-set matches, an ideal preparation for the US Open.
In his first two matches, Djokovic had reasonably comfortable four-set wins, followed by two three-set wins. You would say he is primed to defeat John Millman.
Millman had a nice easy opening round match when he defeated young America wildcard recipient Jenson Brooksby. He then took out the no. 14 seed Fabio Fognini who is more of a clay court specialist. Next up was world no. 84 Mikhail Kukushkin from Kazakhstan. Millman won that match 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
We know what happened next.
Going into the US Open, Millman had lost in his first round matches against Taro Daniel at the Winston-Salem Open and the Cincinnati Masters against Tim Smyczek.
Djokovic and Millman have met just one time in their careers. That match came on grass at the Queen’s Club with Djokovic winning in a canter 6-2, 6-1.
Now we come to the quarterfinal match between Millman and Djokovic at the US Open. All the stats point to a straight sets win for Djokovic. As much as I want Millman to win I think a straight set Djokovic win is the most likely outcome.
It would take another top of his game performance from Millman, and for Djokovic to have an off game. The weather is not as hot, so that card is most likely not going to be dealt with.
Players have off days, so it is not completely out of the question for Millman to win. He has been troubled by injuries over the years, so you never know, there could be a grand slam champion hiding within.