Roger Federer is out of the 2018 U.S. Open. He fell to John Millman in a 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(7), 7-6(3) match at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday night. The tennis great said in a new conference after his loss that the heat just got the best of him.
According to BBC Sport, the five-time U.S. Open champ was stunned by the Australian player, and so was pretty much every tennis fan who watched it all unfold. Federer was clearly the favorite to make it into the men’s quarterfinals, but it took an unexpected turn. This was his first loss to an opponent who is ranked outside of the ATP top 50. John Millman is currently ranked No. 55 in the world. This will also be his first major quarterfinal.
Roger Federer admitted that he struggled with the hot weather conditions in the fourth round. The temperature in New York reached about 90 degrees with the heat index around 100. The conditions were brutal, according to Millman. He said that it was even hard to hold onto the tennis racket because of all the sweat from the heat.
The Labor Day match was very tough on Federer. He had a total of 76 unforced errors and he also struggled with his serve throughout the match. He said that he had trouble getting air and that the circulation just wasn’t there in the stadium.
The 37-year-old Swiss expressed how it felt saying, “It’s uncomfortable. Clearly, you just keep on sweating more and more and more and more as the match goes on. You lose energy as it goes by.”
The world No. 2 also mentioned that he believes that the closed roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium didn’t help the situation any. He said that it seems to reduce the air circulation when it is closed.
Nonetheless, Roger praised John Millman for taking the advantage to win the match. He thought he was the better player under such difficult conditions.
“I thought the match was tough. I wish I could have led two sets to love and then maybe the match would be different and I would find a way. Because I did have my chances all the way till the end. It was just tough. I thought John played a great match in difficult conditions.”
It has been since 2013 since Roger Federer has been knocked out this early at the last Grand Slam tournament of the year. Apparently, it just wasn’t his night thanks to the late summer heat. John Millman still has his work cut out for him. He faces Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, September 5.