- World No 97 Tennys Sandgren only made his Grand Slam debut last year
- The American had never won a Slam match but now has four victories in a row
- Latest was by far the most impressive as he overcame world No 5 Dominic Thiem
- He joked that he thought he was dreaming after coming through in five sets
Tennys Sandgren became one of the most unlikely grand slam quarter-finalists of all time with a stunning upset of fifth seed Dominic Thiem at the Australian Open.
The 26-year-old American, who is ranked 97, only made his Grand Slam debut at the French Open last summer and had never won a slam match before arriving in Melbourne.
Now he has won four in a row and the latest was by far the most impressive. Thiem looked like he had got out of trouble when he saved a match point in the fourth-set tie-break with a brilliant backhand winner down the line.
The aptly-named Tennys Sandgren celebrates after beating Dominic Thiem in the fourth round
Thiem was frustrated in the five-set thriller, eventually losing the decider 6-3 in Melbourne
But Sandgren did not allow the disappointment to affect him and broke the Thiem serve in the sixth game of the deciding set to win 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7/4) 6-7 (7/9) 6-3.
Sandgren, who is named after his Swedish great-grandfather, said: ‘I’m starting to disbelieve it. I don’t know if this is a dream or not.
‘But all you guys are here and I’m not in my underwear so maybe it’s not.
Sandgren, ranked No 97 in the world, dropped his racket after securing the winning point
‘He played some really great tennis, especially in the fourth-set breaker. I knew I had to take my chances. I knew he probably could out-grind me, he’s a heck of a player. Thankfully it worked out in the end.’
Sandgren is only the second man in 20 years to reach the quarter-finals on his debut after Alexandr Dolgopolov in 2011.
‘I have that going for me that guys don’t know how I’m going to play and I’m using that to my advantage just to keep riding that wave,’ he said. ‘I’ve lost in qualifying four years in a row and now I’m in the quarter-finals.’