Australia's Alex de Minaur has booked a first ever grand slam quarter-finals appearance after an incredible display in his US Open fourth round match.
De Minaur broke Vasek Pospisil's spirit in a 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 6-2 fourth-round triumph on Tuesday to join John Millman as only the second Australian man in more than a decade to reach the US Open's last eight.
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The 21-year-old's straight sets win looked regulation on paper but in reality it was all set up by a characteristically fighting display in the first set.
The Aussie found himself staring down the prospect of going a set down after trailing Canada's Pospisil 6-2 in the first set tiebreaker.
However, the Sydneysider staged an extraordinary fightback, saving four straight set points before taking out the tiebreaker in stunning fashion.
The dramatic turn of events seemed to break the Canadian's spirits as De Minaur went on to steamroll his opponent, taking out the next two sets to wrap up the victory in two hours and 17 minutes.
The Aussie's amazing performance won him plenty of praise on social media.
Like a man possessed. 😈— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 7, 2020
The Demon steamrolls his way into his first Grand Slam QF. pic.twitter.com/ZX8OqOwcxm
De Minaur was the first matchup I saw last year at the Open and it was insane to watch him in person. The dude is lightning quick. Whoever he plays next between Thiem and FAA is gonna be an incredible matchup— Eric (@Emoney_312) September 7, 2020
Writing was on the wall after Pospisil choked that first set tiebreak away. De Minaur rolled in sets 2 and 3. #USOpen— BIDEN-HARRIS 2020 🇵🇷 🐝 (@TerpGrad01) September 7, 2020
Alex de Minaur has a huge tennis future in front of him !— Phil Scott (@OneNationPerth) September 7, 2020
🎉Congrats Australia’s Speed Demon...— Lorraine Brannan🤔☮️💟 (@LorraineBranna2) September 7, 2020
👿@alexdeminaur for reaching the Quarter Finals of the US Open in the early hrs of the morning.🎾😁
He now faces Dominic Thiem in the Quarters.
De Minaur faces his biggest test yet in the last-eight where he'll face second seed Dominic Thiem, who breezed past Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(4), 6-1, 6-1 in their fourth round match.
"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."
Career first delights young Aussie
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, now that he's there, de Minaur has a golden opportunity to progress even further in a draw depleted by Novak Djokovic's dramatic disqualification on Monday after Federer and defending champion Rafael Nadal didn't even start.
"Nothing changes." he said.
"I've just got my match ahead of me and I think it (Djokovic's elimination) affects more the people on that side of the draw, to be honest.
"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 striking a line judge in the throat with a ball, Federer, Nadal and 2016 winner Stan Wawrinka not at Flushing Meadows 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.
"But nothing changes. Everything stays the same. Now I've got just another match awaiting for me."