John Millman v Roger Federer: US Open R4 2018- 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (3)
The first set started relatively even, but the set was broken open at 1-0 with a series of high IQ plays. A rally into the top left corner, followed by coming close to the net and continue the rally from there, led to 0-30 lead in the second game. A forehand to backhand rally then ensued at 40-0, but an error led to the ball being hit high out of the field of play. In the second set, a cross court forehand on the stretch put the ball into the right side of the court to push the set lead out to 5-3.
However after getting broken twice, the set was sealed off the back off a mishit backhand which sent the ball long on set point. The third set, however, was fairly even, but despite the efforts, set point was sealed by an out ball which sailed wide off a sliding forehand return. The fourth set was yet another level exchange, but after taking an almost unassailable 5-1 lead in the tiebreak, the match was still in the balance courtesy of a backhand put back into the left ad court. However, the match was not to be denied, sealed in the the last point by ball going long off a return- but it was a thrilling match nonetheless.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Novak Djokovic Roland Garros SF-6-3, 6-2, 5-7, 4-6, 6-1
This match was quite extraordinary. In the second game of the match, a poor service game and a number of double faults lent the early break point opportunity at 15-40. The break was then secured with exemplary chase on a cross court forehand, followed by forehand winner on the run. At 5-3, a big first serve was found to ice off the first set. The second set continued in a fairly similar fashion, but after cruising to a 40-love service game lead, the tables completely turned. A passage of play-including a crosscourt backhand passing shot, followed by two excellent lobs allowed for a change in momentum. That 5-3 game then ended on a forehand mishit into the net cord, sealing the second set. In the third set however, things were fairly level. At 4- all, a brilliant passage of play ended with forehand to produce deuce. However, a sublime return, followed by a classy dropshot consolidated the break to serve for the match.
On match point, a fierce crosscourt backhand forced some movement and resulted in the backhand return down-the-line going wide. Now back at deuce, an excellent volley followed by an overhead put away lent for a break point despite being match point down. The second opportunity at a break point was was then saved- courtesy of a heroic 190km/hr second serve. However, the sequence of play was not to be denied- and a mishit forehand gave for a break point opportunity in the third set. In the final game of the third set-despite being 0-30 down, a rallying effort allowed for the third set and the match to go to a tiebreak.
Now at 0-30, a concerted effort to rally back from a deficit allowed for a riveting content. Then at 30-all, a stumble to transition to a slice resulted in a forehand dumped into the net. Now at set point, an exquisite first serve was found, topped off with a forehand down-the-line winner. However, this came and went, with a second set point faced and the third set being flushed away. In the fourth sets opening game, a double fault, followed by a dropshot which was tracked down, led to a angled forehand jetting past. Following this, a poor back hand down-the-line secured the break, and now the match was 6-3 6-2 5-7 0-1.
However, the break was given right back, with a sloppy service game. A lack of commitment to a long point with poor forehand drop shot brought this game to 30-0. At 40-15, a routine forehand then bounced long to set up a break point the other way. In the next game, 30-40 was reached, but that break point was saved by a exceptional forehand-down-the-line. However, in the next point, a good volley was too much, and this was followed by an ace to save break point. A huge forehand crosscourt kept the break from swinging the other way, service was thus held.
The next game was simply hard to believe. From 40-15 up, a run of four straight points caused the service game to be thrown away, with a 5th set guaranteed. In the 5th and final set however, the competition was taken straight out of the match, with the final set ending 6-1, and the match ending in a thriller: 6-3, 6-2, 5-7, 4-6, 6-1