Wed, 5 Sep, 2018
Who is John Millman? The Aussie sensation who knocked Roger Federer out of the US Open
Just two years ago John Millman was about to give up his pro tennis dream. The 29-year-old had endured countless setbacks in his 12 years playing on the international circuit, including two shoulder surgeries.
But yesterday all the hard work paid off when the Aussie battler felled Swiss superstar Roger Federer and earned his spot in the quarterfinal of the US Open, the biggest victory in Millman’s tennis career.
The Brisbane boy is now the first Australian to defeat 20-time grand slam champion Federer since Pat Rafter in 1999.
The 29-year-old entered the fourth round ranked 55th in the world. He had never progressed past the third round before in a grand slam and had never beaten a top 10 player, let alone the great Federer.
The odds were firmly stacked against him and it seemed the game would proceed as predicted as Millman lost the first set 3-6. But in an unbelievable display of grit and determination, Millman went on to win the next three sets 7-5 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-3).
“I’m probably in a little bit of disbelief,” Millman told the stunned New York crowd yesterday afternoon.
“I have to control the controllables with my game and one thing I can control is the fight in me. I’ve always brought the fight out.
“I have so much respect for Roger and everything he’s done for the game. He’s been a hero of mine and today he was definitely not at his best, but I’ll take it.”
Federer was gracious in defeat, although he did blame the humid condition for his lacklustre performance.
“John was able to deal with [the conditions] better,” Federer said.
“I knew I was in for a tough one. Maybe when you feel like that, you start missing chances, and I had those.”
Millman received $920,000 for his monumental efforts, which is more than half of the $1.8 million in prizemoney he had won in the 12 years he has played on the international circuit.
“This win will give him a higher profile and they will know he’s not just a battler. He’s got skill and he has got plenty of ticker,” father Ron said.
Millman has a giant task ahead of him though as he takes on another tennis great in Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals tomorrow.