Mark Ceccinato claimed the biggest scalp of his tennis career after he dumped out former world number one Novak Djokovic out of the ongoing French Open.
The 25-year-old Italian defeated Djokovic, 31, 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 1-6 7-6 (13-11) in their quarter-final clash and will now face seventh seed Dominic Thiem of Austria for a place in the final.
The unseeded player had never won a main-draw match at a Grand Slam before hostilities began at this year’s Roland Garros.
Thiem saw off injured German second seed Alexander Zverev 6-4 6-2 6-1 and his semi-final meeting with Ceccinato on Friday means that a first-timer is guaranteed for Sunday’s French Open final.
Ceccinato continues to break records with his latest feat making him the first Italian man to reach a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time since 1978.
He is also the lowest-ranked player to get to this stage at Roland Garros since world number 100 Andrei Medvedev in 1999.
Cecchinato, who was banned for match fixing in 2016 and had the verdict overturned, claimed major scalps like eighth seed David Goffin and 10th seed Pablo Carreno Busta.
According to him, his exploits at the French Open had “changed his life”.
On his victory over Novak Djokovic, he said: “Maybe I’m sleeping. It’s amazing, it’s unbelievable for me. I’m very happy because it’s unbelievable to beat Novak Djokovic in a quarter-final at Roland Garros,” he added.
About the winning match point, Ceccinato said: “When I saw my return hit the line it was the best moment of my life.”