On Tuesday morning, the 29-year-old Queenslander and world No 55 defeated the world No 2 Federer at the US Open, bringing ‘The Mailman’ unprecedented overnight success.
Tennis great John McEnroe even labelled the defeat as “one of the greatest upsets in tennis history”.
But it has not been an easy feat for Millman.
Millman, who began playing tennis at age four, began playing as his four sisters all played the game.
Beginning his professional tennis career in 2008, Millman began his career competing in entry-level tournaments.
According to the Daily Telegraph, between 2007 and 2010, Millman’s world ranking quickly rose from 1461 to 204.
But times were tough and the right-hander was often strapped for cash as he tried to climb the tennis ranks.
Writing in Player’s Voice, the 29-year-old recalled “sleeping on floors of train stations and airports and literally playing just so you can afford to get a flight out of wherever you were”.
Along the way, he’s also struggled with a series of near career-ending injuries affecting his shoulder, back, hip and groin.
By April 2014, after nearly a year off the sport due to a surgery to resolve a shoulder injury, Millman was ranked as low as 1,193 in the world.