He faced seven match points and appeared to be on his way home, but Roger Federer pulled another rabbit out of the hat to beat Tennys Sandgren in the quarter-final of the Australian Open.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner won the first set against Sandgren, but then lost the second before going off for treatment in the third set.
He faced seven match points in the fourth set and struggled with injury, but somehow came away with a 6-3, 2-6, 2-6, 7-6 (10-8), 6-3 victory in three hours and 28 minutes, just a few days after also winning a five-setter against John Millman in the third round.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 28, 2020
Sandgren, though, will no doubt look back at this as a wasted opportunity to reach his maiden Grand Slam semi-final.
After trading the first two sets, it all went pear shaped for Federer in the third set as he was broken in the second game and then failed to convert three break points in the third game as Sandgren came back from 0-40 down.
He was also given a verbal obscenity warning for something he said to a line judge and took a medical timeout. Sandgren rammed home the advantage as he took a two-set to one lead with a second break in game eight.
Federer was all over the show in the fourth set as he was clearly struggling with injury, but he hung in there.
Sandgren came within touching distance of the win in game 10 as he had three match points, but the veteran saved them all and so it went to the tie-breaker.
After an early mini-break, the American had four more match points, but the Swiss again held firm and ended up winning the tie-breaker to take it to a decider.
Federer’s movement started to improve and before Sandgren knew what was happening, he found himself 5-2 down after the 38-year-old broke in game six.
The first match point of the game for Federer came in game nine and he made no mistake as he secured his place in the semi-finals, where he will face either defending champion Novak Djokovic or Milos Raonic.
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