Tennis' fast-rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece stunned defending champion Roger Federer in a thriller to enter the men's singles quarter-final at Australian Open in Melbourne on Sunday.
In an intense Round of 16 match, the Swiss maestro took the 61-minute long first set in tie-breaker, but the 20-time Grand Slam champion failed to match up with Tsitsipas' game, losing the next three sets.
Tsitsipas won the match (11)6-7, 7-6(3), 7-5, 7-6(5) in three hours and fifty minutes at Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne to enter his maiden Grand Slam quarters. In the quarters, he will play Spaniard 24th seed Roberto Bautista-Agut, who defeated sixth seed Marin Cilic of Croatia in five sets, (6)6-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
This was the pair's only second meeting. In the pre-tournament warm-up mixed team Hopman Cup earlier this month, Federer had won thanks to two tiebreaks.
The result will be read as the change in guard in tennis.
Federer has won the last two tournaments at Melbourne Park in a late-career resurgence was one of the favourites beside fellow six-time winner and world number one Djokovic. Many believed that he will be hard to stop from extending his all-time record with a 21st major victory.
Tsitsipas, seeded 14th in the year's first Grand Slam, entered the tournament as a future star having beaten four top-ten players – Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem (twice) and Kevin Anderson (twice) – in a break-out year in 2018. But after four gruelling sets on Sunday, he emerged as a star.
Federer, 37, had not lost a match at Melbourne Park since his semi-final defeat at the hands of eventual winner Novak Djokovic in 2016.
The six-time champion was overpowered by a youngster who was yet to be born when he made his professional debut.
After the match, Tsitsipas said that he's "the happiest man on earth right now. I cannot describe it."
"From the very beginning, it was very important to keep that mindset, to believe in yourself, believe in your capabilities.
"Roger is a legend of the sport, so much respect for him. He showed such good tennis over the years. I've been idolising him since the age of six. It was a dream come true just being on Rod Laver facing him. Winning at the end, I cannot describe it."
Tsitsipas turned pro in 2016, and this is his third campaign at Melbourne Park. In 2017, he lost to American Bjorn Fratangelo in the qualifiers; and last year, he was beaten in straight sets by Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the first round.
In other bottom-half quarters, Rafael Nadal will play Frances Tiafoe. The Spaniard, aiming to become the first man in the Open Era to win all four Grand Slam title twice, thrashed veteran Czech Tomas Berdych in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1, 7-6 (4).
His opponent in the last-eight, American Tiafoe defeated 20th seed Grigor Dimitrov in four sets 7-5, 7-6(6), (1)6-7, 7-5 to celebrate his birthday in a giant-killing mode.