US Open: I struggled to breathe, says Roger Federer after shock defeat

Sep 05, 2018, 08:24 IST | PA Sport

Crushing humidity left Roger Federer gasping for air during shock loss to World No. 55 John Millman at US Open 2018

US Open: I struggled to breathe, says Roger Federer after shock defeat
Roger Federer

Roger Federer said he was relieved the match was over after struggling in humid conditions and falling to one of his most surprising losses against John Millman at the US Open. Australian Millman had been given barely a sniff before the match, with excitement already building for a quarter-final clash between Federer and Novak Djokovic at Flushing Meadows.

The 29-year-old, who had never previously beaten a top-10 opponent, appeared to have even less chance of winning with Federer a set and a break up and holding two set points, but he somehow clawed his way back to clinch a 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/3) victory. While Millman, ranked 55, produced the performance of his life, Federer gave one of his poorest displays on the big stage, struggling with all parts of his game and making 76 unforced errors.

The match did not finish until nearly 1am but the temperature was still around 30C with extremely high humidity. Federer, perhaps looking and sounding his age, said: "I just thought it was very hot tonight. It was just one of those nights where I guess I felt I couldn't get air. There was no circulation at all. For some reason I just struggled in the conditions. It's one of the first times it's happened to me.

"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. "But John was able to deal with it better. At some point also I was just happy that the match was over I do believe since the roof is on that there is no air circulation in the stadium. I think just that makes it a totally different US Open."

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