There was no one at Melbourne Park who thought Roger Federer would win against Tennys Sandgren when it was 3-0 to the American in the third set.
Then the Swiss was in the dressing room and received treatment for leg pain. He had lost the game altogether, lost the second set clearly by 2-6. When Federer came back out onto the track, he looked motionless and hung his head. New loss with 2-6 in the third set.Saved seven match balls
In the fourth, Federer fought hard to still give it a shot. He saved three match balls and managed to force himself to a tiebreak. Once there, Sandgren served absolutely amazingly well. The American had five serveess. Still, Federer somehow managed to cling to the set and saved another four match balls.
- You have to be lucky sometimes. It was all about keeping the ball alive and I was hoping he wouldn't smash me away, Federer said afterwards about the match balls he managed.
He won by 8-6 and a fifth set awaited. Then the scene had changed again. The Swiss was suddenly in a psychological predicament against a frustrated American.New Federer in fifth
- I started to feel better, the press disappeared and I started to serve better, Federer explains how he looked in the fifth set.
With new powers, the Swiss could break Sandgren's serve and when Federer finally raised his arms against the Melbourne sky after 6-4 in the fifth set he could hardly believe himself to win.
- I believe in miracles. I've been out of other difficult situations but this ... I was incredibly lucky today, Federer said.Sandgren better on almost everything
American Tennys Sandgren, ranked 100, made a fantastic effort but failed to capitalize on the golden position he had to beat Federer. The American served incredibly good match throughout and almost never let the Swiss win a few simple points.
Sandgren had 27 serveess against Federer's five. If you look at the statistics after the match, Sandgren was better on almost every point. Fewer mistakes, better services, more winning strokes and more total points won. But in the end, as so often before, Federer won ...