New York, NY, USA, 31 August 2016 | Darren Walton/AAP

John Millman is eyeing a spot in the world’s top 50 after threatening to pull off the first big surprise of the US Open in New York.

Millman led Dominic Thiem two sets to one before succumbing 6-3 2-6 5-7 6-4 6-3 to the eighth-seeded Austrian in a three-hour thriller on Tuesday night.

The near miss comes after the Australian No.3 regained his place in the top 70 after upsetting Frenchman Richard Gasquet en route to a career-first ATP semifinal last week in Winston-Salem.

He also won a string of matches in Cincinnati before running into Thiem and challenged world No.7 and eventual bronze medallist Kei Nishikori at the Rio Olympics.

“Obviously Dominic’s the next level up. He’s a top-10 player and I’ve just gone to five with him,” Millman said.

“So maybe next time I win this one, so I take a lot from these last few weeks.

“I feel as if my ranking should be better than what it is. I’ve got to push on and get higher up.”

The 27-year-old, who has overcome a series of career-threatening injuries to work his way back into grand slam draws, admitted he was gutted to go so close against Thiem.

“It’d be easier to lose in straight (sets),” he said .

“It’s in my DNA to give it everything, so it’s really tough when you go the distance and pull up a bit short.”