Roger Federer overcomes early wobble to stay on course for possible Novak Djokovic showdown
Roger Federer must have felt a sense of déjà vu after dropping the first set against Marton Fucsovics, but he quickly bounced back to beat the Hungarian in four sets.
The third-seeded Federer also dropped the first set against John Millman in the third round on Friday as the Australian took him to five sets.
But unfortunately for Fucsovics, the 20-time Grand Slam winner raised his level after his early wobble and eventually eased to a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 victory in two hours and 11 minutes to secure his 101st win at Melbourne Park.
The turning point in the first set came in game seven when the Federer serve malfunctioned as he found himself 0-40 down with Fucsovics getting the job done on the third break point.
But the Swiss great finally found a good rhythm in the second set as he raced into 3-0 lead before getting a second break in game six.
He carried that form into the third set as he broke three times, although the Hungarian got one break back, while the fourth set was also one-way traffic with breaks in game one and game seven.
“It was a tough start, I thought Marton played clean,” the six-time Australian Open champion said.
“I guess it was the rest of the Millman match, that guy gave me a beat down from the baseline, so maybe it took my confidence away a little bit and I think it just took some time.
“I was looking to maybe mix it up a little bit more. It gets really slow in the night time, especially when it gets cool like this so I just had to figure it out and finally found a way. I had had a good start to the second set and from there it got a little bit easier.”
Federer will take on Tennys Sandgren for a place in the semi-final after the American beat Fabio Fognini 7-6 (7-5), 7-5, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, while he could face defending champion Novak Djokovic in the last four.
“I’m looking forward to playing against him. I’ve played a lot of tennis in my life, but never against Tennys. Oh, man,” the 38-year-old joked.
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