Australian Open: Federer saves seven match points to beat Sandgren
Roger Federer says pulling off a “miracle” win to beat unseeded American Tennys Sandgren gives him extra belief he can win a record-equalling seventh Australian Open title.
The third seed saved seven match points – and overcame a groin problem – before winning a five-set quarter-final.
Swiss Federer, 38, will face Novak Djokovic in Thursday’s semi-final after he beat Milos Raonic in three sets.
“I always believe until it’s actually over, never before,” said Federer.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion will have 48 hours to recover for his semi-final and hopes that will be enough time to return in peak condition.
The breathtaking quarter-final was Federer’s second five-set contest in the space of five days after a nerveless fightback in the deciding set’s 10-point tie-break stopped him falling to Australian John Millman in the third round.
When staring at defeat in the fourth set against Sandgren, Federer said he was hoping for a miracle.
Sandgren, ranked 100th in the world, made three unforced errors on his first three match points at 5-4, then produced two more mistakes when he had another four match points in the tie-break.
Federer turned the tie-break around to take the match into a fifth and dominated the decider to win in over three-and-a-half hours.
“If I can get through a match like this, through a match like Millman, you do believe,” Federer said when asked if he could go on and match Djokovic’s record number of victories in Melbourne.
“I only believe it’s over once I shake the hand of the opponent.”
Tennys Sandgren was playing in his second Grand Slam quarter-final after also reaching the last eight in Melbourne in 2018
Federer was trailing 3-0 in the third set against Sandgren, who had levelled the match by winning the second, when he went off Rod Laver Arena for a medical time-out.
Moments earlier he was given a warning by chair umpire Marijana Veljovic for swearing.
“I don’t know if you can call it an injury. It’s just pain and problems,” said Federer, whose last triumph at Melbourne Park came in 2018.
“I started to feel like my defence wasn’t really there. That’s also when I got the warning finally because I was upset about the pain I was feeling.
“Hopefully we’ll find out that it’s actually nothing bad, that it was just the groin that went really tight from playing a lot, or who knows what, maybe from nerves.
“I need to figure it out, but I’m hopeful.”
View more on