Tennys Sandgren felt Roger Federer's "level picked up" during the match points he squandered in their epic Australian Open quarter-final.

Federer – battling injury – incredibly saved seven match points before claiming a 6-3 2-6 2-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3 victory on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday.

Sandgren was somewhat tentative and Federer gave nothing away during those decisive moments, with the 20-time grand slam champion coming from 6-3 down in the tie-break in the fourth set.

The American, left tired after a battle lasting three hours and 31 minutes, gave credit to Federer.

"I just tried to keep playing it, playing the tennis portion of it," Sandgren told a news conference.

"Like I said, it just seemed like his level picked up when his back was right up against the wall.

"He just wouldn't give me anything. Credit to him, for sure."

Sandgren only had one match point on his own serve, while four came after Federer missed first serves.

The world number 100, who was playing his second grand slam quarter-final, felt the missed opportunities were not as bad as they looked

"One on my serve. Really not that many. If I had, like, six on my serve, I'd be really p***** off," a smiling Sandgren said.

"One on my serve, and I think I made the first serve, he gave it a good stick on the forehand, which is not surprising either, yeah."

Roger Federer is still delivering, but it's all a little different.

After saving seven match points, Federer overcame Tennys Sandgren 6-3 2-6 2-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3 in an epic Australian Open quarter-final on Tuesday.

It was often scrappy and at times workmanlike, but the Swiss great delivered once more – albeit in a different way – on the grand slam stage.

Federer is a 20-time grand slam champion whose last major success came in 2018 and has two fellow all-time greats standing in his way over and over again on the biggest stage.

So, battling a leg injury which seemed to improve as the match went on, he needed three hours, 31 minutes to beat the American world number 100.

He hit 56 unforced errors and now has 208 for the tournament at an average of 41.6 per match. He had what looked like a soft draw and has turned it into 12 hours, 38 minutes of time on court, including two huge comebacks in five-setters.

It is the first time in his illustrious career that Federer has not faced a top-40 opponent on his way to a grand slam semi-final. Steve Johnson (75), Filip Krajinovic (41), John Millman (47), Marton Fucsovics (67) and Sandgren (100) should not have caused him as many problems as they have.

At 38 and with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, 32 and 33 years old respectively, continually standing in his way, Federer is going to have to deliver in ways other than winning grand slams.

On a slow court and with Djokovic likely awaiting in the semi-finals, his Australian Open chances seem slim even though he is into the last four. Wimbledon is still shaping as his best hope of another grand slam, yet he has thrilled more so than anyone else at the year's first major.

After his win over Millman, when he came from 8-4 down in the match tie-break, Federer said: "I think if I do play tennis it's because of winning titles, trying to win as many matches as possible, enjoy myself out on court but also being in epic matches like this.

"It doesn't always have to be finals, I guess. As long as the crowds are into it, you have a great battle with an opponent who you really admire and respect, it's a good feeling.

"I'm happy I had that match. I hope I would feel the same way also if I would have lost, to be honest."

Crowds are always behind Federer and again it proved on Tuesday at Rod Laver Arena and, if entertainment is the objective, he – and Sandgren – well and truly delivered.

It wasn't vintage Federer, but so what?

Roger Federer was under no illusion that he survived a major scare when coming through his gruelling Australian Open quarter-final with Tennys Sandgren in five sets.

After winning the first set with little fuss, Federer began to struggle and lost the next two 6-2 to the American, requiring a medical timeout when 3-0 down in the third.

With his groin and leg causing Federer discomfort, he was on the brink of defeat in the fourth set, facing a total of seven match points.

But he showed remarkable resilience to fight back and level the contest, with a visibly frustrated Sandgren struggling to keep his emotions in check.

Federer closed out the match, taking the final set to clinch a 6-3 2-6 2-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3 victory, but he claimed he did not deserve the victory given Sandgren outscored him in terms of aces, overall points and winners.

"You've got to get lucky sometimes, I'll tell you that," a jovial Federer said in his on-court interview. "In those seven match points you're not in control, it may not look that way.

"I don't know, I was just hoping that he wasn't going to smash the winner on that one point, and just keep the ball in play, and if he misses one or two, who knows what he's thinking about?

"Even that didn't really matter. I think he played his match, I got incredibly lucky and then as the match went on, I started to feel better again.

"All the pressure went away, and I started to play. Again, I got a little lucky with the breaks and served really well I think for most of the game, particularly at the end.

"I don't deserve this one, but I'm standing here and obviously very happy.

"I don't like calling the trainer, ever, because it's a sign of weakness and all that stuff, and I try not to show it. The best is when it's a groin [injury], so you go off court and no one knows what it is.

"I just said, 'I believe in miracles'. It could rain, there could be stuff [happening]. It [the injury] wasn't bad enough where I thought it was going to get worse, I was just stiff and tight – [I was thinking] 'let him finish me off in style', and he didn't do that, so I'm incredible lucky today, tonight… I don't even know what time it is."

The 20-time grand slam winner will face either Milos Raonic or defending champion Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals and, while the prospect of facing the latter when not 100 per cent fit is by no means kind, Federer is ready to embrace whatever happens after riding his luck.

"The draws are not getting easier, but I've got the rest of the day with nothing to do, the next day with nothing to do and then I'm playing at night. You do feel better in a couple of days and then you never know," he said.

"With these lucky escapes, you might play without any expectations anymore because you know you should already be skiing in Switzerland! I'm lucky to be here and might as well make the most of it."

Roger Federer produced an epic comeback in the Australian Open quarter-finals, saving seven match points in a win over Tennys Sandgren.

The 20-time grand slam champion appeared set for a shock loss in Melbourne, battling a leg injury from the third set onwards on Rod Laver Arena.

Instead, he delivered a spectacular comeback, reaching the semi-finals with a 6-3 2-6 2-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3 victory that was special even by his standards across three hours, 31 minutes.

Federer saved seven match points in the fourth set, including coming from 6-3 down in the tie-break, having needed a medical timeout.

The 38-year-old moved into his 46th grand slam semi-final and became the oldest man to get into the last four at the Australian Open since Ken Rosewall in 1977.

After squandering five early break point chances, Federer took his sixth when Sandgren sent a backhand long in the sixth game.

While Federer closed out the opener, a flurry of errors saw him give up a break and fall 3-0 behind to begin the second.

Federer committed 15 unforced errors in the second set – eight from the backhand side – as Sandgren levelled the match.

The Swiss great's struggles continued into the third, broken in the second game when he sent a tame forehand into the net.

Sandgren came from 0-40 down in the third game of the set, during which a frustrated Federer was given an audible obscenity warning before receiving treatment off the court.

Struggling physically, Federer tried to hang in there before giving up the set with a backhand into the net.

Mixing his game up, Federer fought hard against a seemingly undistracted Sandgren in the fourth set before saving three match points in the 10th game as the American faltered.

Sandgren put two match point opportunities into the net and sent another wide before saving a break point to take a 6-5 lead.

In an extraordinary tie-break, Federer came from 6-3 down and saved four more match points to force a decider as the Rod Laver Arena crowd erupted.

Federer had his right hamstring treated before the fifth set and he appeared far more mobile as he took control of the contest.

A break for 4-2 set him up and he had no trouble closing it out, an unreturnable serve wrapping up the amazing comeback.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN 
Roger Federer [3] bt Tennys Sandgren 6-3 2-6 2-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS  
Federer – 44/56
Sandgren – 73/53

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS  
Federer – 5/3
Sandgren – 27/5

BREAK POINTS WON  
Federer – 2/13
Sandgren – 4/14

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE  
Federer – 65
Sandgren – 65

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE  
Federer – 71/53
Sandgren – 79/45

TOTAL POINTS  
Federer – 160
Sandgren – 161

It is getting to the business end of the Australian Open for Roger Federer, who meets Tennys Sandgren in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Federer banished the demons of last year's shock fourth-round exit by topping Marton Fucsovics in Melbourne on Sunday.

A 20-time grand slam winner and six-time champion at Melbourne Park, Swiss maestro Federer is eyeing his first major title since the 2018 Australian Open.

As Federer prepares for the last eight, we look at the 38-year-old's form.

 

Form and results

Like his five-setter with John Millman, Federer dropped the opening set against Fucsovics on Sunday. However, third seed Federer managed to avoid going the distance as he steamrolled his unheralded Hungarian opponent in two hours, 11 minutes. The veteran used 44 winners to vanquish Fucsovics under the Rod Laver Arena lights.

R1: bt Johnson 6-3 6-2 6-2
R2: bt Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1
R3: bt Millman 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 4-6 7-6 (10-8)
R4: bt Fucsovics 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-2

Next up

Sandgren finds himself in a familiar position. The 28-year-old will contest his second Australian Open quarter-final following his 2018 run. Sandgren upstaged 12th seed Fabio Fognini in four sets on Sunday. This will be the first meeting between Sandgren and Federer.

Draw

A blockbuster semi-final against defending champion Novak Djokovic is on the horizon for Federer. Djokovic must see off Milos Raonic to make that happen. The iconic pair played out a remarkable Wimbledon final, won by Djokovic, last year.

What he said

"I'm very happy how I'm feeling considering my age, considering everything I've gone through throughout my career. The toughness of the first real tough match of the season for me after having not played these kinds of matches for some time, it's nice to see that the work I did in the off-season paid off."

Roger Federer is preparing to face an enigma when he tackles Tennys Sandgren in the Australian Open quarter-finals, and the American even admits: "Maybe I shouldn't be here."

Sandgren is the world number 100 but has an unusually strong record against top-10 opponents, scoring wins over Stan Wawrinka, Dominic Thiem, Fabio Fognini and, earlier in this tournament, Matteo Berrettini.

The 28-year-old from Tennessee only made his grand slam main-draw debut in 2017 and is, by modern tennis standards, a late developer.

In 2014, he lost a Challenger Tour match to Britain's Marcus Willis, who famously chomped on a chocolate bar and sipped a cola drink rather than elect for snacks more usually associated with professional sport stars.

That match was highlighted, raking up bad memories for Sandgren, when Willis made a name for himself in 2016 at Wimbledon, the genial home player taking on Federer in a highly entertaining but one-sided second-round match on Centre Court.

Now, though, it is Sandgren's turn to tackle the 20-time grand slam winner, and their clash should be competitive.

"I wonder why he's not ranked higher, to be honest," Federer said of Sandgren. "Every time I see him play, I feel like he plays very well. He's got a lot of stuff in his game that [means] he's deserving of being higher.

"I'm looking forward to that match because I've seen him play a lot but never played him."

Sandgren repeated his 2019 Wimbledon win over Fognini to sink the Italian's hopes over four sets in Melbourne on Sunday, and Federer took the chance to watch, predicting "a tough one" next.

For his part, Federer overcame a sluggish start to see off Marton Fucsovics 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-2, with any effects of his late-night battle with John Millman in the third round seemingly shaken off.

Sandgren was asked why he has shown himself capable of doing well on the big occasion.

"Maybe because I haven't had that many," Sandgren said. "Maybe I haven't had that many looks or wasn't supposed to.

"Maybe I shouldn't be here. The fact that I am, I get kind of amped up. I want to perform. I want to do well. I don't want to take the time on the court for granted.

"Getting to play in a big stadium, getting to play in front of a lot of people, because I've played a lot of tennis in front of very few people, that seems to bring out the best tennis in me."

Sandgren's big shot is his serve, as Federer has observed.

The Swiss has taken down many a player with a booming serve in the past, yet he has also been struck by other areas of Sandgren's game, saying: "He can counter-punch but also likes to go on the attack."

Sandgren spoke of how he spent his early years in tennis "not sniffing these opportunities" and claimed: "There are better players than me that I played with in Futures and Challengers that have stopped playing because they just ran out of money or got injured.

"There's definitely a world where it didn't work out [for me]. Some of the margins were pretty small for me to have some of these opportunities. I definitely don't take it for granted."

He was also reminded of the Willis match, which took place on an indoor court in front of a spartan crowd.

"I did not feel great after that one. He downed an RC Cola and a Snickers and took me out," Sandgren recalled. "I had a few of those where it's like, 'What are you doing? Is this ever going to be worthwhile?'"

Tennys Sandgren will play Roger Federer in the Australian Open quarter-finals after beating Fabio Fognini in a tense affair on Sunday.

The American triumphed in four sets - three of which went to tie-breaks - to knock out the 12th seed and book a meeting with Federer, who dispatched Marton Fucsovics after a nervy start.

There were few signs of the jitters for Novak Djokovic against Diego Schwartzman, while Milos Raonic's relentless serving strength saw him power past 2018 finalist Marin Cilic.

Canadian Raonic said he felt "pretty damn good" after a straight-sets win that included 35 aces, although he admitted he will need even more to beat defending champion Djokovic next.

 

SANDGREN FIGHTS THROUGH FOGNINI FRUSTRATION

Sandgren traded winners and barbs with Fabio Fognini before prevailing 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 to seal his second Australian open quarter-final berth.

Tempers frayed across four entertaining sets on Melbourne Arena, with the American becoming upset at his opponent's stalling tactics.

Fognini, the 12th seed, argued with the umpire, took a lengthy bathroom break and asked for a medical timeout to treat blisters all before the third set, leading Sandgren frustrated.

"He gets his own rules because you're afraid to step on his toes," the world number 100 told the umpire after taking the opener.

Sandgren, who lost to Chung Hyeon in the last eight two years ago, regained his composure and went on to complete the upset in three hours and 27 minutes.

FEDERER FINDS FORM AFTER EARLY WOBBLE

Federer seemed to be feeling the effects of his epic five-set victory over John Millman as Fucsovics took an early lead on Rod Laver Arena.

However, the 38-year-old recovered in supreme style and seemed somewhere close to his best tennis at the end of a 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-2 victory.

As the full repertoire of shots from Federer began to paint the lines, Fucsovics had little response.

The 20-time major champion is now looking forward to a first meeting with Sandgren. "I have played a lot of tennis in my life, but never against Tennys," he said.

DJOKOVIC POWERS PAST SCHWARTZMAN

Djokovic produced another dominant display to dismantle Schwartzman 6-3 6-4 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena, where the world number two kept his title hopes alive.

While Schwartzman fought hard, it was another routine outing for Djokovic - who reached his 11th Australian Open quarter-final.

Djokovic was broken for the first time since the opening round but was never really in danger, hitting 38 winners and 31 unforced errors.

"Today was a good test because Diego was in form, he hasn't dropped a set in three rounds," the Serbian said afterwards.

"Obviously he can be a very dangerous opponent from the baseline if you give him time. I knew that. I stepped out on the court with a clear game plan what I need to do."

RAONIC TAKES DOWN CILIC

It rained aces as 32nd seed and former world number three Raonic beat former runner-up Cilic 6-4 6-3 7-5.

Raonic progressed to his fifth quarter-final in Melbourne after firing down 35 aces and winning all of his service games in two hours and 19 minutes.

His reward? A showdown with Serbian superstar Djokovic, who boasts a dominant 9-0 head-to-head record.

"I'm going to have to serve well clearly, and then I think I'm going to have to get my return at a high percentage, make him play a lot of those points, and then try to be efficient on my service games," Raonic said in his news conference.

"I think we play quite opposite from each other, and he's done a good job in the past neutralising my serve. So I have really got to focus on my things well and be the one dictating."

Roger Federer again recovered from a poor opening set to progress to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Sunday.

The 20-time grand slam champion lifted his game after a sluggish start to beat Marton Fucsovics 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena.

Federer battled back from the brink in round three to defeat John Millman in a final-set tie-break, and many were left wondering whether playing more than four hours and finishing at 0048 local time on Friday would take its toll.

He certainly seemed several steps off the pace in a lacklustre first set, but Federer duly responded to produce some of his best tennis of the tournament to claim his 101st Australian Open match win against the world number 67.

Federer will face Tennys Sandgren in the last eight, with a semi-final showdown against Novak Djokovic still on the horizon.

Too many wayward shots saw Federer give up the first set to Millman, and Sunday's match followed a similar pattern as Fucsovics threatened an upset.

The Hungarian appeared untroubled by the Federer backhand slice and looked comfortable when trading blows from the baseline before breaking in game seven after a series of errors from the Swiss.

With the crowd clearly left uneasy by his pedestrian start, Federer raced into control of the second set, holding to love and breaking for the first time when Fucsovics sent a forehand long.

Having survived a scare on serve, Federer moved 5-1 ahead after a useful net cord before serving out the set with more customary precision.

By now in full flow, Federer began the third with a showcase of his variety, a thumping winner and a sublime drop shot - both from the backhand - teeing up a break that Fucsovics handed to him with a foolhardy slice.

Two break points came and went for Fucsovics after a brilliant Federer forehand yielded the most emphatic fist-pump of the evening from the 38-year-old, whose movement across the court belied the marathon match he played just 48 hours earlier.

Fucsovics did move back to 4-2 after a loose game from Federer, but he mistakenly let a mishit lob land on the line to hand back another break, and the six-time champion closed out with a crisp volley.

With everything falling into place for Federer - he was even four from four on Hawk-Eye challenges - Fucsovics lost heart as a first double fault of the match and some overhit ground strokes left him 2-5 down.

Fucsovics had seemed troubled by the tension of his racket strings as the evening waned, but there was no such anxiety within the packed crowd, the roars a fitting way to end Australia Day as Fucsovics sent a forehand into the net on the third match point.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN 
Roger Federer [3] bt Marton Fucsovics 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-2 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Federer – 44/36
Fucsovics – 15/35

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Federer – 5/0
Fucsovics – 1/1

BREAK POINTS WON 
Federer – 7/12
Fucsovics – 2/9

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE 
Federer – 61
Fucsovics – 47

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE 
Federer – 76/53
Fucsovics – 57/53

TOTAL POINTS 
Federer – 109
Fucsovics – 83

Roger Federer can banish the memories of last year's fourth-round Australian Open exit with victory against Marton Fucsovics on Sunday.

Federer was sent packing by Stefanos Tsitsipas in 2019 - the 20-time grand slam champion's earliest elimination from Melbourne Park since 2015.

The quarter-finals are on the horizon, though a lot will depend on how Federer recovers from his marathon third-round encounter.

We take a closer look at Federer's form ahead of his meeting with Fucsovics.

Form and results

It was all routine for Federer until Friday's marathon five-setter against local favourite John Millman, who stunned the Swiss maestro at the 2018 US Open. Federer survived a huge scare, rallying from a set down and reeling off six successive points to get past Millman in an epic contest to bring up a century of Australian Open match wins, despite a whopping 82 unforced errors after more than four hours on court.

R1: bt Johnson 6-3 6-2 6-2
R2: bt Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1
R3: bt Millman 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 4-6 7-6 (10-8)

Next up

Fucsovics can look forward to a date with Federer. The unheralded Hungarian matched a career-best fourth-round appearance at a slam – again at Melbourne Park – after upstaging American sensation Tommy Paul in straight sets on Friday. World number 67 Fucsovics has already eliminated 13th seed Denis Shapovalov and Jannik Sinner this month. Fucsovics and Federer have met once before at the Australian Open, the latter triumphing in the last 16 two years ago.

Draw

Federer – eyeing a record-equalling seventh Australian Open title – is on track for a blockbuster semi-final with defending champion Novak Djokovic. It all depends on whether Federer can get past Fucsovics and either 12th seed Fabio Fognini or Tennys Sandgren in the quarters.

What he said

"I think if I do play tennis it's because of winning titles, trying to win as many matches as possible, enjoy myself out on court but also being in epic matches like this. Doesn't always have to be finals, I guess. As long as the crowds are into it, you have a great battle with an opponent who you really admire and respect, it's a good feeling. I'm happy I had that match tonight. I hope I would feel the same way also if I would have lost."

Roger Federer shrugged off questions about his high unforced error count after he survived a massive Australian Open scare from John Millman. 

Federer appeared destined for a third-round exit when he fell behind 8-4 in the decisive match tie-break at the end of the fifth set.

Millman had come from two sets to one down to move within two points of victory, but Federer rattled off six successive points to seal his 100th win at the Australian Open 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 4-6 7-6 (10-8) in four hours and three minutes.

The 20-time grand slam champion prevailed despite hitting 82 unforced errors, 48 of them coming off the forehand side.

Asked about that number in his post-match media conference, Federer replied: "I mean, honestly, nothing against the statistics people, but over a four-hour match you're going to hit unforced errors.

"What is an unforced error? Is it when it comes at 120 [kilometres] an hour or 135 or you're on the stretch? So, for me, he pushed me to go for more.

"You know me – I'm not going to hold back and just rally all the time. I will always try to make plays, and for that, I will miss some.

"Of course, sometimes I wish I could have maybe hit a few more winners instead of unforced errors, but, you know, it shows how slow the courts can be, as well, you know, how many rallies get created, how he didn't serve and volley once.

"I served and volleyed maybe what, 10 times? Five times? It's that crazy at these moments. When you can come in and you play serve and volley and, you know, volley errors don't count I don't think ever, and rally errors always count. So, there you go."

Federer was effusive in his praise for Millman, who defeated the Swiss at the 2018 US Open.

"I just think he's just so, so tough from the baseline. He's got sort of good speed on the backhand, on the forehand," added Federer when asked why Millman is such a tough opponent.

"The way he hits it makes it, for me, unsure if I should pull the trigger or I shouldn't. Is it there to be hit or not? Every time I get a ball, I'm in two ways, because I have the option to do that with my game, but then he covers the court very well.

"Because he hits it hard enough, maybe it's harder for me to find [an] angle. I think the biggest problem for me was just I wasn't able to get… I was not returning poorly, per se; I was just not getting into those neutral rallies, finding the ways to unlock him.

"That's his credit. He's a great player. He's got great attitude, and that's why I mumbled something to him at the net just saying, 'I have so much respect for you, and it's such a pity, I'm so sorry, but well played', and all that stuff, because I really feel that way for John."

Stefanos Tsitsipas suffered a surprise Australian Open exit at the hands of Milos Raonic in the third round on Friday.

The Greek was beaten in straight sets and managed not a single break point against the relentless power and precision of the Raonic serve.

Roger Federer ensured his 100th match win at Melbourne Park was among his most memorable as he survived a gruelling five-set encounter with John Millman.

The six-time champion remains on course for a semi-final against Novak Djokovic, who was ruthless in seeing off the challenge of Yoshihito Nishioka.

Roberto Bautista Agut was edged out by Marin Cilic, and there were also wins for Diego Schwartzman, Marton Fucsovics, Tennys Sandgren and Fabio Fognini.

 

RAONIC LEAVES TSITSIPAS REELING AS DJOKOVIC MARCHES ON

There was a shock for sixth seed Tsitsipas, who simply had no answer to the serve and forehand of Raonic in a 7-5 6-4 7-6 (7-2) defeat.

The 21-year-old struggled to make any inroads against the Raonic attack and was unable to muster even a solitary chance of a break against a player yet to drop serve in this year's tournament.

"It's one shot that you can get knocked down all the time, and you're just there, getting punched in the face with one shot. You can't do much," Tsitsipas said of facing the Canadian.

"I'm not saying it's luck. It's a skill. I felt a bit stupid returning his serves."

Defending champion Djokovic was in imperious form, dispatching Nishioka 6-3 6-2 6-2 to keep his quest for an eighth title on track.

Djokovic described the victory as "one of the best serving matches I've had lately" and credited coach Goran Ivanisevic after firing in 17 aces and dropping just eight points on serve to reach the second week in Melbourne for the 12th time.

The Serbian now faces Schwartzman, who saw off Dusan Lajovic 6-2 6-3 7-6 (9-7).

TON UP FOR FEDERER AFTER TIE-BREAK TURNAROUND

Federer's 100th win at the Australian Open was secured at 0048 local time after a marathon encounter with Millman.

The 38-year-old triumphed 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 4-6 7-6 (10-8) after four hours and three minutes of brutal tennis against the Australian, who beat him at the US Open two years ago.

Federer fought back from a set down to lead but, after Millman forced a decider, momentum seemed to have swung his way in front of a crowd for once not overwhelmingly backing the Swiss great.

Millman led 3-0 and 8-4 in the final-set tie-break, but Federer rallied from the brink to earn the first match point and promptly took advantage when a Millman volley offered him a routine passing shot.

"Oh God, it was tough," Federer told Jim Courier on court after the match. "Thank God it was a match tie-break, otherwise I would have lost this one."

Federer will face Fucsovics in round four, the Hungarian having beaten Tommy Paul 6-1 6-1 6-4 in a one-sided match-up.

CILIC OUTLASTS BAUTISTA AGUT AS SANDGREN QUELLS QUERRY

Cilic, the beaten finalist in 2018, claimed a memorable 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-0 5-7 6-3 victory over ninth seed Bautista Agut to set up a fourth-round showdown with fellow serving heavyweight Raonic.

An all-American clash went the way of Sandgren, meanwhile, as he beat Sam Querrey 6-4 6-4 6-4.

Sandgren meets Fognini in round four, the Italian making relatively light work of Guido Pella in a 7-6 (7-0) 6-2 6-3 victory.

Roger Federer produced a dramatic late comeback in a fifth-set tie-break to survive a huge scare from John Millman and progress to the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Day five had already seen Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Stefanos Tsitsipas dealt shock defeats, and there looked to be another in store as Millman surged into an 8-4 lead in the final-set tie-break having been two sets to one down.

Recent history was also on the side of Millman, who defeated Federer in the 2018 US Open, while the 20-time grand slam champion went into Friday's encounter having lost his previous three five-set matches.

However, Federer somehow reeled off six successive points, a stunning forehand pass securing a 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 4-6 7-6 (10-8) win that marked his 100th at Melbourne Park and booked a last-16 clash with Marton Fucsovics.

The first set the tone for an uncharacteristically error-strewn performance from Federer.

He committed 14 unforced errors in the opener, and a double fault followed by a wayward forehand gifted Millman the early lead.

Millman faced the only break point of the second, but it was vintage Federer in the subsequent tie-break, the Swiss masterful in equal measure at the baseline and the net as he raced into a decisive 6-1 lead.

The third followed a markedly similar pattern with Federer finding no way through the Millman resistance. That was until the 10th game, when the Queenslander's composure cracked and he pushed long to seemingly give Federer control of the match.

But even as the errors crept into his game, Millman displayed a remarkable ability to trade blows with Federer in the longer exchanges and he brought up break point with a superb return before winning a tremendous rally that ended with the Swiss sending a forehand into the net.

Federer was 30-0 ahead in the subsequent game, only for four successive errors to allow Millman to hold, with a love hold then sending an absorbing contest to a fifth.

Another unforced error gave Millman the initiative in the decider and, though he gave the break back and squandered a pair of break points at 3-3, the home hope appeared on course to repeat his 2018 achievement in the tie-break.

Indeed, it was Millman who seemed to have the most left in the tank, and an astonishing cross-court pass put him within two points of victory.

Federer, though, is still capable of defying the odds at the age of 38, and he delivered a reminder that he should never be counted out with an emphatic response that capped an epic of four hours and three minutes in fitting fashion, his forehand passing shot making the most of an indecisive Millman volley.

Roger Federer secured his 100th Australian Open win by beating John Millman in Melbourne on Friday.

The Swiss star has never lost before the third round at the year's first grand slam and his title bid continued with an epic five-set triumph over the home favourite on Rod Laver Arena.

Federer moved onto a century of wins at the Australian Open, a year after reaching the same mark at Wimbledon.

The 20-time grand slam champion became the first man to post 100 wins at a single major by getting to the landmark at the All England Club.

We take a look at five of his best wins at the Australian Open.

 

First round, 2000: bt Michael Chang 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-5)

Federer's first win at the tournament came 20 years ago, when – ranked 62nd in the world – he upset Chang. Federer had finished 1999 by winning a Challenger Tour event in Brest and he got to the third round in Melbourne before falling to Arnaud Clement. An 18-year-old Federer showcased his talent by beating Chang in his opener, which marked his first main-draw singles win at a grand slam.

Semi-final, 2004: bt Juan Carlos Ferrero [3] 6-4 6-1 6-4

Federer produced a spectacular run on his way to a first Australian Open title in 2004, including rushing past Ferrero in the semi-finals. Having already beaten Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian, Federer needed less than 90 minutes to crush Ferrero and secure the world number one ranking before recording a straight-sets win over Marat Safin in the final.

Semi-final, 2007: bt Andy Roddick [6] 6-4 6-0 6-2

Federer tormented Roddick during the American's career but their last-four clash in 2007 promised to be a thriller, after the Swiss needed four sets to beat the same opponent months earlier in the US Open final. However, it proved to be anything but as Federer crushed Roddick in just 83 minutes. "I was playing out of my mind. I am shocked myself," Federer said afterwards.

Last 16, 2009: bt Tomas Berdych [20] 4-6 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4 6-2

Only once in his illustrious career has Federer come from two sets to love down to win at the Australian Open and it came against the Czech in 2009. Berdych had taken complete control of the encounter before allowing Federer back into the match, the Swiss winning after three hours and 25 minutes. He would go on to reach the final before falling to Rafael Nadal in five sets.

Final, 2017: bt Rafael Nadal [9] 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3

Having undergone knee surgery the previous year, Federer started 2017 at the Hopman Cup but, without a major title since his 17th at Wimbledon in 2012, few gave him much of a chance in Melbourne. However, he fought his way into the final before edging Nadal in a thriller, moving onto 18 major titles and leaving his Spanish rival on 14.

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal paid tribute to Caroline Wozniacki after the former world number one was sent into retirement at the Australian Open.

Wozniacki's career came to an end following the Danish 29-year-old's 7-5 3-6 7-5 third-round loss to Ons Jabeur in Melbourne on Friday.

The 2018 Australian Open champion, Wozniacki announced last month that she planned to call it quits at the conclusion of the year's opening grand slam.

Afterwards, superstar ATP trio Federer, Djokovic and Nadal featured in a video message via the WTA.

"Hey Caroline, many congratulations on a most amazing career," 20-time slam winner Federer said in the video shared on Twitter. "I was so happy for you when you won the Australian Open and also world number one, that's the pinnacle of our sport and you did it all.

"I always enjoyed watching you play. You had a lot of battles. I was waiting sometimes to play and you were playing ahead of me, and your matches took forever. But that's okay, I loved watching you play.

"We'll miss you, the WTA will miss you and the ATP will miss you. I wish you all the very best for what's to come. Thank you for everything you've done for tennis."

Reigning Australian Open champion Djokovic said: "Caro, I don't know how to say goodbye to you. I know the moment is coming closer and closer for you. We've known each other for a long time. We lived in the same place for many years, so I've seen you jog on the street and walk your dogs. We developed a nice friendly relationship as well.

"You're a fantastic person. You've done so much for tennis. Your contribution is very positive to the game and the game will definitely miss you.

"I wish you and your husband David a wonderful life together. Hopefully kids on the way as well. Hope to see you. Come and watch us play and have fun."

"Hey Caroline. Well, just very sad to make this video because everybody wants to watch you play tennis," added world number one and top seed Nadal.

"You had an amazing career. I just want to congratulate you on all the things you achieved and at the same time to be nice to everyone.

"It's been great to share many great moments with you. I wish you all the very best in your personal life, happiness and health. Hope we keep seeing you around."

Roger Federer continues to dazzle the Melbourne public as he prepares to renew acquaintances with John Millman in the Australian Open third round on Friday.

Trying to banish the memories of last year's shock fourth-round exit, third seed Federer has looked a class above in his two matches so far at Melbourne Park.

The 20-time grand slam champion is eyeing a record-equalling seventh Australian Open title this year.

We take a closer look at Federer's form ahead of his rematch against Australian favourite Millman.

 

Form and results

While stiffer tests are to come, any slight doubts over Federer and his lack of preparation ahead of the Australian Open have been dismissed. The 38-year-old progressed to the third round at Melbourne Park for the 21st straight year by easing past Filip Krajinovic on Wednesday. Federer tallied 42 winners and just 14 unforced errors.

R1: bt Johnson 6-3 6-2 6-2
R2: bt Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1

Next up

It is a reunion for Federer and Millman, who sensationally eliminated the superstar from the US Open last 16 in 2018. Riding a wave of local support, the 47th-ranked Millman has seen off Ugo Humbert and 31st seed Hubert Hurkacz en route to his first third-round appearance at the Australian Open since 2016.

Draw

Red-hot American Tommy Paul or Marton Fucsovics would be next for Federer, should the Swiss sensation make it through. There has been plenty of buzz and hype surrounding 22-year-old Paul, who is beginning to realise his potential at Melbourne Park.

What he said

"I think the next match is really going to be a test for me because John is going to be there. He's fit like a fiddle. I've lost to him in the past in a best-of-five set match. I almost lost to him in Brisbane, as well, the first time I played against him. He's from this country, so naturally also it's going to be different intensity. I think this is going to be a good test for me."

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