It is a cliche 'point by point, game by game' as Alex de Minaur refuses to look too far ahead after gatecrashing the quarter-finals of a grand slam for the first time.
De Minaur broke Vasek Pospisil's spirit in a 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 6-2 fourth-round triumph on Tuesday to follow John Millman as only the second Australian man in more than a decade to reach the US Open's last eight.
It was one-way traffic after de Minaur rallied to save four straight set points in the opening tiebreaker to see off the big-hitting Canadian in two hours and 17 minutes.
"I was thinking to myself that I didn't really deserve to be in that position right there. I thought I got a little bit unlucky to go down 6-2 in the tiebreak because I didn't think I played a bad tiebreak," de Minaur said.
"Mainly I just tried to stick and stay in the moment.
"I knew if I could jag that first point on his serve, then maybe I would have two points on my serve and hopefully he would feel the pressure a little bit.
"But I actually ended up playing some great tennis, putting some very good deep returns and starting to dictate.
"So I'm very happy I got that first set, and the momentum definitely changed after that."
Former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt was a fixture in the men's quarter-finals in New York from 2000 to 2006, but it's been slim pickings ever since for Australian men.
It took an earth-moving fourth-round victory for Millman over Roger Federer two years ago to break the drought.
But, in also joining Nick Kyrgios in elite company as only the third Aussie man to make the last eight at a major since Hewitt's glory days, de Minaur has presented himself with a huge opportunity.
The 21-year-old next faces world No.3 and 2020 Australian Open runner-up Dominic Thiem on Thursday.
The Austrian is hardly a mug - but he is no Federer, Nadal or Djokovic and will be under untold pressure to finally break through at Flushing Meadows after three grand slam final defeats since 2018.
"Nothing changes. Everything stays the same," de Minaur said after Thiem advanced with a crushing 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 6-1 win over Canadian 15th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.
"Now I've got just another match awaiting for me. It's still a long way away to get to that final so I'm going to stick with my quarter-finals for the time being."
But with Djokovic disqualified after accidentally striking a line judge in the throat with a ball; Federer, Nadal and 2016 winner Stan Wawrinka not competing; and Andy Murray suffering an early exit, a first-time grand slam champion is guaranteed this week.
"Look, I'm obviously very happy. At the end of the day, this is where I want to be and this is where I truly believe I belong - second weeks of slams and going deep," de Minaur said.
"I'm happy I'm finally at this stage."
HOW THE AUSSIES FARED ON DAY EIGHT OF THE US OPEN (PREFIX DENOTES SEEDING)
Men's singles, fourth round:
21-Alex de Minaur bt Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 6-2