Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova crashed out of the US Open on Monday in back-to-back seismic shocks under the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights.
Federer, the five-time champion and looking to end his 10-year wait to add to his total in New York, was beaten by Australia’s world number 55 John Millman 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/3).
It was 20-time major winner Federer’s first loss against a player outside the top 50 in 41 meetings at the US Open.
He finished with 77 unforced errors and 10 double faults.
“It was very hot. I felt I couldn’t get any air and I was sweating more and more and became more and more uncomfortable,” explained Federer.
“I guess I was happy when the match was over.”
He added: “John dealt with it better — he’s from Brisbane, one of the most humid places in the world!”
It was the world number two’s earliest defeat at the tournament since a fourth round loss to Tommy Robredo in 2013.
The result meant there would be no quarter-final showdown with old rival Novak Djokovic who will now face Millmann instead.
“I have so much respect for Roger and everything he’s done for the game. He’s been a hero of mine,” said Millman.
“Today he was definitely not at his best. But I’ll take it.”
Sharapova, the 2006 champion who was trying to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2012, hit 38 unforced errors and dropped serve six times.
The defeat also ended the former world number one’s perfect record of 23 wins — 22 of them on Arthur Ashe Stadium — in night sessions at Flushing Meadows.
“I thought she played really well. I thought in today’s conditions, her ball was getting up on me a little bit more, much more than my previous three opponents that I played,” said Sharapova.
“I didn’t take care of the chances that I had. By ‘chances,’ I mean the balls that were a little bit shorter.”
Suarez Navarro, who was also a quarter-finalist in New York in 2013, goes on to face American 14th seed Madison Keys, the runner-up in 2017.
“Maria has played here at night many times so I knew I needed to be aggressive, focussed and play solid,” said the 30th seeded Spaniard.
Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final, beating Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, tearfully admitting she was prepared to “break a leg” to win the match.
The 20-year-old became the first Japanese woman in the US Open last-eight since Shinobu Asagoe in 2004.
Osaka, seeded 20, came back from a break down in the final set to take the tie on a fourth match point when Sabalenka served up an eighth double fault.
“I would never have forgiven myself if I had lost that match,” said a tearful Osaka.
“When I was a break down in the final set I thought I would even break a leg if needed so I could get to every ball.”
Osaka will next face Lesia Tsurenko, the 36th-ranked Ukrainian who beat Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova 6-7 (3/7), 7-5, 6-2.
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