Buckle up, put on the kettle, get out the popcorn and feast your eyes on the battle between John Millman and Roger Federer.
The Australian has forced a fifth a deciding set, after claiming the fourth 6-4.
In a match of serious momentum swings, it’s Millman who will go into this last leg of the match with the ascendancy, with one reporter suggesting Federer was “missing forehands by four metres”.
The tenacious Australian took the first set 6-4 as he put a rather rust looking Federer to the sword.
Millman knows just what it takes to defeat the 38-year-old, after having sent the Swiss Maestro packing in the US Open last year.
“Roger is looking a little tight, under hiting some balls and overhitting other,” tennis great Jim Courier told Channel 9.
“John Millman is going toe to toe and really putting Roger on the back foot and he said before he came out here that he was feeling comfortable and he is definitely showing that.”
Courtside reporter and wheelchair tennis champion Dylan Alcott echoed Courier’s sentiments.
“I think everyone is shocked. It’s an incredible performance so far,” Alcott said.
“They’re still cheering pretty heavily for John Millman but there is a big gasp every time Roger hits an error.”
But then Federer hit back to claim the second and third sets; the first in a tiebreaker (7-6(2)) and the next 6-4.
GOING LOCO FOR COCO
Teen sensation Coco Gauff has belied her mere 15 years, ousting reigning champion Naomi Osaka.
Gauff defeated Osaka – a player who she could only record three games against when they last met – 6-3, 6-4.
While Serena Williams’ exit from the tournament was the biggest story of Friday, Gauff’s victory over Osaka was equally as surprising.
But despite being the undergo, the American showed nerves of steel throughout the match, with Rod Laver Arena cheering her on as she progressed through to the fourth round.
Teen sensation Coco Gauff is one set away from the fourth round after taking the first set against reigning champion Naomi Osaka, 6-3.
While tennis legend John McEnroe had high praise for Gauff he also said Osaka was facing a serious mental battle out on the court. With Gauff serving for the match, Osaka threw her racquet to the ground in sheer frustration.
“Osaka right now … mentally is all over the place,” he said.
“She needs to get her head focused on, put aside everything else.”
Gauff was smiling ear-to-ear after the incredible result
“Honestly, like, what is my life?” she said.
“Oh my gosh. Like last year – two years ago I lost first round in juniors. Now I’m here. This is crazy.”
CAN MILLMAN RE-CREATE HISTORY?
Roger Federer will bring art while John Millman wants nothing short of all-out war when tennis’s odd couple meet again in the Australian Open third round tonight.
In a rematch of their classic 2018 US Open fourth-round encounter – won in a huge upset by Millman – the contrasts couldn’t be starker.
No titles versus 103. $5 million in prize money v $130 million. No. 47 v No.3. But there’s plenty of mutual respect, the Swiss hand-picking Millman to train with him in June 2018 at his Swiss base because of the Queenslander’s incredible work ethic; Millman holding Federer in the highest esteem because, well, he’s Federer.
As Millman puts it, for lightning to strike twice he’ll have to turn Friday’s clash into another sweat-soaked battle of attrition, much like his four-set triumph at Flushing Meadows.
“For me, I try to make things as physical as possible. I’ve got to try to do that. That’s how I play,” Millman said.
Federer said of Millman: “He’s a super good guy and an unbelievably tough opponent.:
“There’s not many guys fitter than him out there and those are the guys I respect the most, actually, because he gets the most out of the game.”