Roger Federer's bid for a hat-trick of Australian Open titles was crushed on Sunday as Greek wunderkind Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated the Swiss master 6-7 (11) 7-6 (3) 7-5 7-6 (5) and become his country's first Grand Slam quarter-finalist.
Both players produced tennis of nearly mirroring playing styles, but Tsitsipas' conviction in the pressure moments proved crucial as he secured another notable victory in his burgeoning career.
The steely 14th seed took the first set off Federer in the tournament by winning a second tie-break and claimed the only break point of a tight match to move a set away from securing the biggest win of his career.
We have quarter-final action in the men's event on Tuesday at the Australian Open, and previewing tomorrow's two matches is our tennis columnist, Dan Weston. "It was a dream just being on Rod Laver playing against him and to win it at the end, I can not describe it", he added.
The 20-year-old Greek rising star saved all 12 break points he faced and struck 62 winners in an inspired display at a packed Rod Laver Arena on Sunday. Andy Murray first and now the greatest of all. "I don't care how I do it, but I have to do it. Cost me the game tonight". "He's always going to say stuff", said Federer. However, it's also worth pointing out that his five-setter in the previous round, against Marin Cilic, only lasted ten minutes more than Tsitsipas' four set triumph over Roger Federer, so if we consider Bautista-Agut worn out, it should be more to do with his exertions earlier in the tournament, as opposed to the last two rounds.
Asked whether he could go all the way to the title he replied: 'For sure, that's why I'm here.
"I'm the happiest man on earth right now, I can't describe it", he said.
"I mean before that, too, obviously".
After prevailing in a tiebreak to take the first set in just shy of an hour, Federer had opportunities to press his advantage but couldn't finish his work.
There was no easing in to the intergenerational battle, with Tsitsipas having a first serve cancelled for twice falling foul of the clock in the opening game. But I still have to keep my focus, keep my concentration on further goals that I want to achieve.
Her next assignment is against unseeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who beat Stephens 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-3 in a late night epic.