Sep/18

4

John F___ing Millman Takes Down the Goat!

The first set went as expected, Roger Federer, the Swiss maestro, the 37-year-old tennis freak, subdued his 29-year-old Australian opponent, No. 55th ranked, John Milliman, in the fourth round of the US Open, 6-3. Brad Gilbert, the court side reporter for ESPN broadcasting the night match after Carla Suarez Navarro had upset Maria Sharapova in straight sets, said early in the match how he didn’t understand why Millman couldn’t generate more power on his serve and he feared the green Aussie (Millman turned pro in 2006 but didn’t win his first ATP match till 2013!) would go down like 3, 0, 4 in straight set scores.

Federer was up again 5-4 in the second set, serving at 40-15 to take a two sets to none lead when he wet his pants. Well actually, it wasn’t Federer who wet his pants, but the heat and humidity, still around 90 when Federer and Millman hit the court at around 8 pm New York time, was what sent Federer into a tizzy about how his shorts became sopping wet and the ball was in a short and it was just a really difficult time for him playing in his 18th US Open.

“It’s just one of those nights where I guess I felt I couldn’t get air,” he said later. “One of the first times it’s happened to me.”

Federer preceded to drop those second set set points and fall to Millman, who had never beaten a Top 10 player before, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6, 7-6. After the match, Federer incredibly said he was playing so poorly he had no answers for Millman and actually looked forward to the end of the match.

“John was able to deal with it better,” Federer said of the conditions. “He maybe comes from one of the most humid places on earth, Brisbane. I knew I was in for a tough one. Maybe when you feel like that, you start missing chances, and I had those. That was disappointing. Look, at some point I was just happy that the match was over.”

Earlier in the day, Novak Djokovic, who hails from Serbia, not a particularly hot or humid place, overcame Joao Sousa in straight sets and after the match, before what everyone anticipated as a big Wednesday showdown between Djokovic and Federer, what would be their 7th confrontation at the US Open, the Serbian said that he’s 31 now and while he doesn’t feel old, his “biological clock” was ticking. Djokovic would not answer a question by the court side reporter after the match about how hard it was to play in the sticky conditions, instead saying it always an honor to play at the US Open.

Federer like LeBron James in basketball and Tom Brady in football, seemed to belie the notion of any “biological clock” ticking. He had still won his 20th slam at the Australian Open, a place where it gets plenty hot, and sported a 36-5 record in 2018 coming into the Millman match.

But Federer is now out to John F___king Millman who is ranked just below Matthew Ebden and just above Benoit Paire, who Federer had not dropped a set to in his first round win at the Open. Millman was 14-15 on the year before his four match wins at the Open. Millman to his credit, didn’t let the moment get to him, and showed tremendous court coverage and a good all-around game in taking down the Goat, who resorted to flicking drop shots like Nick Kyrgios. But even Millman felt bad about what he’d done. “I felt a little bit guilty today because he didn’t have his best day today that’s for sure,”

 

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63 comments

  • catherine · September 6, 2018 at 7:56 am

    Why is there a day’s break from singles at the USO ?

    I don’t remember that.

  • Hartt · September 6, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Scoop, you like conspiracy theories, so what is your take on this? Jim Courier said that the USO slowed down the court speeds this year to help American players. The USO acknowledged that they slowed down the speed but denied that was the reason. They claim that players had requested the change, feeling that the speed had started to creep up.

    I don’t know the real reason for the change, although I doubt the “official” one. When did tourneys start paying so much attention to the players’ wishes? The slower court may help some American players, such as Isner. Contrary to popular belief, John prefers courts that aren’t fast. His serve is effective on any court, but slower courts give him more time to prepare for his shots. But do slower courts help the American women, who have been doing so well at the USO?

    Anyway, I am annoyed that they slowed the court speed. It’s not as though the USO is fast to begin with, and slower courts are a disadvantage to many aggressive players. I enjoy an aggressive style of tennis and think that we don’t see it often enough.

  • Hartt · September 6, 2018 at 11:37 am

    To clarify my earlier post, I don’t think the change in speed was to help the American women, who did very well last year as well as this.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Catherine, I think it’s normal but so little rain this year didn’t jam up the schedule. Now we can expect all four players to be fresh for the semis, upping the chances to see the best tennis possible.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Hartt, yes I saw that Courier said that and it does not surprise at all. Tennis Autralia used to mix up their court speeds but not to the advantage to Lleyton Hewitt who expressed displeasure about it. Not sure what the motive was then by TA or what it was now by USTA. Maybe Courier will elaborate more. Not sure how slower courts help any specific group of players over any other groups? I think this a non story.

  • catherine · September 6, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Scoop – thanks – I just have no recollection of this being the case years ago. Seems strange to me and must result in loss of revenue. Wimbledon doesn’t have a day without singles play, and that’s even taking into account the mid-Sunday and no night matches.

    re court surface – don’t know if you saw a story about the AEC considering using a mixture artificial grass (5% I think) to allow more matches to be played on the Centre Court. I don’t know what difference this would make to the speed etc.

    I wish they would stop fiddling with court speed. I agree with Hartt that the players should not have any say in it. Anarchy – some want fast, some slow and some in-between.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Catherine, the womens semis are tonight. The day session is free to anyone. I would be shocked if Wimbledon added any artificial turf to center court. Even more shocked than Millman ever beating Federer in a major 🙂

  • catherine · September 6, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Scoop – prepare to be shocked – I think the CC grass blend will be changed because the AEC want to be able to schedule 4 matches in one day without fatal wear and tear.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Catherine, if they change the all whites dress code, some hardcore traditionalist might go postal on the AEC. Getting tired of all this talk of change and reducing five setters to 2 of 3 in majors. Too much change talk.

  • catherine · September 6, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Scoop-
    There’s no serious talk of changing the whites or any other changes. I can’t imagine reducing the sets either. Wimbledon retains its status as the premier GS by resisting change for its own sake despite commercial pressure. I believe the majority of players like the way things are in the majors. They’re the greatest test, as we’re seeing in NY.

    The grass change is merely to help the surface stay stable over 2 weeks of use because grass is a natural substance of course. Needs all year care. I remember the ‘grass’ at Forest Hills. You won on that, you could win on a ploughed field.

  • Duke Carnoustie · September 6, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Not surprising that the all-white clothing policy is under attack at SW19 since whites are under attack in society in general. It’s a sign of the times.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    Catherine, we know breaking that dress code at Wimbledon is their next scheme of attack on tradition. It’s eventually going to happen, mark my words.

  • catherine · September 6, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    Duke – you can bring politics into anything can’t you ?

    And nobody has suggested the all white clothing policy is under attack.

    Maybe you should visit the UK sometime and bring your ideas up to date.

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