NEW YORK — Five-time US Open Champion Roger Federer has been knocked out of the 2018 competition in a stunning upset by Australian John Millman.
The 29-year-old Australian dumped Federer, who last won the tournament in 2008, in four sets, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6, 7-6, with the last two sets going to tiebreak.
The three-and-a-half hour match turned into a baseline slugfest as Millman became the only player outside the top 50 — he’s currently ranked 55 in the world by the ATP — to put out the former champion at Flushing Meadows.
Coming into the match the number-two seed, Federer saw set point slip away from him twice, in the second and third sets, as the resilient Australian, Millman, playing his first-ever Grand Slam fourth-round match, held his nerve.
The upset sees the 37-year-old Swiss lose out on the quarterfinals for only the second time in 14 outings — his only other fourth-round exit coming at the hands of Spain’s Tommy Robredo in 2013.
Until Monday night, Federer had been 40-0 against opponents outside the Top 50 at the US Open, according to the official match report.
Federer has enjoyed an almost-unprecedented spell of dominance at the tournament in past years, with five back-to-back wins between 2004 and 2008. Until meeting Millman Tuesday, Federer hadn’t dropped a set all tournament at the Arthur Ashe.
Earlier in the competition, Federer displayed his usual dominance, swatting aside Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, France’s Benoit Paire and Millman’s compatriot, the 30th seeded Nick Kyrgios, in straight sets.
But his much-anticipated quarterfinal matchup against his old rival Novak Djokovic — what would have been their 47th meeting, and seventh at the US Open — was foreclosed by the Australian, who will now meet the Serb on Thursday.