It might have been a struggle on Tuesday for one of the greatest tennis players of all-time in the quarterfinals of the 2020 Australian Open. However, Roger Federer of Switzerland, the world number three and six-time Australian Open champion found a way to advance in tennis’s first major of 2020.
Federer needed three hours and 31 minutes on the Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday, but got it done. He saved seven match points. That is the most match points he has ever saved during a grand slam match. However, despite a sore groin and down two sets to one at one point, Federer came through with an impressive 6-3, 2-6, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 win.
During the fourth set tiebreak in the Sandgren match, Federer won 10-8. That was the same score in the fifth set tiebreak in the third round when Federer beat John Millman of Australia, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6. In this dramatic thriller against the unseeded Aussie, Federer was once down 8-4 in the final set tiebreak before recording a remarkable six consecutive points.
What we found out about Sandgren this past week is that his ranking of 100th in the world is not indicative of his overall performance on the tennis court. He was simply playing like a seeded player.
Sandgren also loved beating up on Italians. He beat the eighth ranked Matteo Berrettini in the second round, 7-6, 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 7-5 and then 12th ranked Fabio Fognini in the fourth round, 7-6, 7-5, 6-7, 6-4.
In Federer’s win over Sandgren, all the statistics actually went Sandgren’s way. Sandgren had 27 aces, compared to Federer’s five. Sandgren also had 73 winners compared to 53 unforced errors. While Federer had only 44 winners compared to 56 unforced errors.
However, sometimes in tennis, you can throw statistics out the window. What matters is when the players win the points, not how many. On Tuesday, Federer won the key points, which won him the match.
Federer now faces Novak Djokovic of Serbia, the second seed, and seven-time Australian Open champion, in the semifinals on Thursday. Djokovic beat the 32nd ranked Milos Raonic of Canada in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 in his quarterfinal matchup on Tuesday.