This was going to be the year Novak Djokovic achieved the ultimate: the first calendar grand slam since 1969. With 30 successive wins at the majors and no apparent chinks in the armour, the Serb seemed destined to add a bit more to the records books.
Instead, the 29-year-old will be going home from Wimbledon without even making it to the quarter-finals, his worst showing in a grand slam since 2009.
The world's number one player was taken down by the unassuming Sam Querrey of the US on Saturday, in an encounter which saw Djokovic subdued for a large part of the match.
Having won the Australian Open and the French Open earlier, Djokovic needed to win the Wimbledon and US Open crown later in the year to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four majors in a year - a calendar grand slam.
Perhaps the weight of expectation got to him, but Djokovic never seemed to recover after losing the first set 7-6 (8-6). He lost the second 6-1, the most comprehensive surrender before the rains came and there was no further play on Friday.
The two players returned on Saturday. Although Djokovic won the third set, Querrey made him pay for the 31 unforced errors and won the fourth, clinching a memorable win.
Djokovic arrived quickly for his news conference, anxious to get the formalities over with.
"I just need some rest," he said.
"I believe in positive things in life. I managed to win four grand slams in a row - two different seasons, though. I want to try to focus on that rather than on failure."
But the world number on was full of praise for his opponent.
"Sam played a great match. His game was brutal and I was overpowered," said the Serb, who added that he "wasn't 100 percent healthy."
Djokovic added that he would not be playing in the Davis Cup quarter-final against Andy Murray's Great Britain in Belgrade in two weeks' time.
Querrey, the world number 41, built only his second win in 10 meetings with Djokovic on an epic-serving performance.
The 28-year-old sent down 31 aces -- 15 in the fourth set alone -- and saved 14 of 17 break points while unleashing 56 winners.
His reward is a last-16 clash with 34-year-old Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.
Djokovic's streaks end:
- Djokovic was bidding to win a fifth successive Grand Slam title and become just the second man to achieve the feat. Don Budge won six in a row from 1937 Wimbledon to the 1938 US Championships.
- Djokovic was on a 30-match winning streak at the Grand Slams, an Open era record for consecutive wins. Victory on Saturday would have taken him level with Rod Laver on 31 on the all-time lost, six behind the record set by Don Budge in 1938.
- The world number one had reached the quarter-finals of his last 28 Grand Slams.
- Djokovic had not lost in the third round of a Grand Slam since being defeated by Germany's Phillip Kohlschreiber at Roland Garros in 2009.
- He had not lost before the quarter-finals at Wimbledon since 2008 when he was beaten by Marat Safin in the second round.
- Djokovic had never previously lost a set to an American player at Wimbledon, winning all five matches against US opponents in straight sets.