When Marinko Matosevic, the journeyman Victorian, won the first three points in his quarter final against Roger Federer did he dare to dream a little dream?
Here were three break points on offer against arguably the greatest player of all time. Maybe he really had slipped now he's a family man in his early 30s and ranked a lowly world number six.
Pop. Federer didn't take long to douse the Australian with a bucket of cold water, which may have been a welcome relief in Brisbane given the scorching day had stretched into a sultry, humid evening.
The 17-time Grand Slam winner fended them off and normal programming soon resumed. He took care of business 6-1 6-1 in just 57 minutes to set up a semi-final with French eighth seed Jeremy Chardy and possibly, a final with Lleyton Hewitt should the Australian veteran see off Japan's Kei Nishikori on Saturday.
"After I got the break, things started to become more difficult for Marinko. I can open up a bit, I can take some chances, so he has to play more safe," Federer said.
On a Brisbane day that reached 37 degrees – it will be 42 degrees on Saturday – Federer was about the only man in the city that didn't break into a sweat.
Matosevic, the world number 61, had all of his moments in the opening game of the night and barely made a dent from that point onwards. He became frustrated, then hapless in the face of continued excellence from the Swiss great.
Federer has been impressed with his own form after a six-week break and produced some vintage tennis against the out-gunned Australian. He fired nine aces to Matosevic's three and won 84 per cent of his first serves.
Federer was thee out-of-towner but was supported as if he was the local on Pat Rafter Arena. His appearance in Brisbane, years in the making, has been worth every cent and his performances to this date have't let down organisers or fans.
More pertinent to Federer will be how it all translates to Melbourne Park, where he will be trying to defy his ageing body and a cohort of new champions to win his fifth Australian Open title.