Roger Federer escaped elimination in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Tuesday with a great comeback. The Swiss legend survived seven match points in a five-setter against Tennys Sandgren: 6-3, 2-6, 2-6, 7-6 (8) and 6-3.
Federer did not look fit and underwent a 3-minute injury in the third set due to an injury treatment of about ten minutes to his groin. He served less hard than usual and seemed to move less smoothly.
In the fourth set it seemed to be the end of the story for the number three in the world, but Sandgren left no less than seven match points unused. Federer fought on top and still pulled the party in character in the fifth set.
Due to his extremely difficult victory, the 38-year-old Federer continues to have a chance of winning his 21st Grand Slam victory. His record could also be matched at the Australian Open by Rafael Nadal: the Spaniard will play in the quarterfinals against Dominic Thiem on Wednesday.
Federer also escaped elimination in the third round against John Millman. In the super tie-break of the fifth set, he won 10-8 after trailing 4-8.
Tennys Sandgren could have reached the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Federer against Djokovic or Raonic in semi-final
His resurrection against Sandgren was even more impressive. Federer looked fit at the start of the match and won the first set fairly smoothly, but he immediately fell behind in both the second and third set. In just one service game from Sandgren in the third set, Federer got chances to break back.
The fourth set went right, though, Federer wavered when he had to serve with a 5-4 deficit to stay in the match. Sandgren hit three match points in the net. A tiebreak followed in which Sandgren even left four match points.
In the fifth set, Federer broke Sandgren's service on a 3-2 lead, after which his victory was no longer endangered. The veteran only needed one match point to decide the game after three hours and 28 minutes.
Sandgren, the number one hundred in the world ranking, could have reached the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time. The 27-year-old American was also in the quarter-finals in Melbourne two years ago, but in all his other Grand Slam participations he did not go further than one fourth-round and one-third.
Federer plays in the semi-finals against Novak Djokovic or Milos Raonic, who face each other in Tuesday's final match.