New York warms to its favourites quickly and, in Ben Shelton, the US Open faithful has unearthed another.
The 20-year-old, in his first semi-final af any kind on the ATP Tour, was facing up to the ultimate David versus Goliath contest.
Novak Djokovic had won 21 of his last 22 grand slam finals but briefly in the third set, those inside Arthur Ashe Stadium flitted with the prospect of a first American man into the US Open final in 13 years.
Shelton was already the first unseeded man into the semi-finals in New York since 1998, the year after his father Bryan had retired from professional tennis.
His run was in danger of being quashed rapidly by the Serbian, chasing a 24th Grand Slam title, only for the American to rally in the third set and briefly threatened to shift the match’s momentum before an obdurate Djokovic held firm for a 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 victory.