Roger Federer stared hard at the future and in the unyielding figure of 20-year-old Stefanos Tsistipas found that it was too much for him.
The defending champion was knocked out of the Australian Open courtesy of a nerveless display from the young Greek, who seized his chances to win 6-7, 7-6, 7-6, 7-6 in three hours and 45 minutes.
Federer, of whom it is so easy to forget is 37, spurned copious opportunities against the world No 15, whose previous best at a Grand Slam was his little noticed fourth round at Wimbledon last summer.
He now plays Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, who has powered on from his defeat of Andy Murray on the opening day.
‘There is nothing I can describe it, I’m the happiest man on earth right now,’ said Tsitsipas. ‘I actually from the very beginning I kept the mindset to believe in myself and my capabilities.
‘Roger is a legend, he showed such good tennis over the years, I have been analysing him since the age of six. It was a dream come true facing him.
‘It’s very important to have an aggressive mindset and not think too much of what is going to happen. I didn’t lose my patience, that was key to save the break points. I haven’t seen such a loud crowd in my life.’
Federer missed all of his 12 break points and another crucial area was his 40 unforced errors on the forehand.
The Swiss said: ‘There are always multiple factors but it definitely didn’t go the way I was hoping on break points. I also didn’t break him at the Hopman Cup, so clearly there’s something wrong.
‘I lost to a better player who hung in there and stayed calm, credit to him. Conditions changed like it does when you start at 7 and go into the night. I thought conditions were a bit slower this year.’
Tsitsipas has a massive following in a city with a huge population of those with Greek heritage, and while not many had tickets for Rod Laver Arena hundreds gather in the main square of Melbourne Park, the answer to Henman Hill, to watch.
It was an inauspicious start for the Greek, who was given two time violations by umpire James Keothavong in a testy opening game, which saw Federer also upset by a line call.
Thereafter they stood toe to toe until the tiebreak, which the Swiss nicked 13-11 when he managed to save four set points against a player who was anything but intimidated by the reputation on the other side of the net.