Roger Federer saved seven match points in the fourth set in an epic match against world no.100 Tennys Sandgren on Tuesday afternoon.
In a match defined by a number of unusual occurrences affecting both players, Federer found a way to grind out the victory when it seemed like Sandgren was poised to secure one of the upsets of the Australian Open.
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An hour passed between the first match point Federer saved in the fourth set, and the first match point Federer earned in the fifth - which he made count.
‘You gotta get lucky sometimes,” Federer said in his on-court interview after the match.
It comes after Federer survived a similarly close call against Australian hopeful John Millman earlier in the tournament, where he won a fifth set super tiebreak.
Roger Federer saves SEVEN match points and defeats Tennys Sandgren in five sets to reach the Australian Open semi-finals.— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) January 28, 2020
Equals his match with Scott Draper in Cincinnati 2003 for most match points saved before coming back to win. #AusOpen
Just watched Roger Federer stave off SEVEN match points to force a 5th set and win his quarterfinal match at the #AusOpen and all I can think about is how similar his competitveness is to Kobe. Two class act contemporaries and all-time greats in their sport 🙏🏼— Adrian Spinelli (@AGSpinelli) January 28, 2020
Oh man!! The #GOAT gives us heartbreaks through the journey. But as long as he keeps doing these Houdini acts and comes out on top, we are happy! @rogerfederer escapes 7 match points against him, and wins! #AusOpen— Sanjay Mehta (@sm63) January 28, 2020
There was controversy aplenty, particularly earlier in the match as Sandgren took control in the second and third sets.
After dominating the first set 6-3, Federer suddenly found himself on the ropes as Sandgren took the second and third sets, both 6-2.
Federer was called for a rare code violation as he was on the cusp of going down 3-0 in the third set, as one of the line judges reported an audible obscenity from his direction to the chair umpire.
An incredulous Federer was less than impressed with that turn of events, and a wobbly set took an even worse turn as he called for a medical timeout.
Sandgren easily closed out the third and looked to take control of the fourth before Federer once again found his feet.
The Swiss star saved no less than seven match points in a back and forth tiebreak in the fourth set, before eventually claiming the set.
There was no looking back from then on, as Federer claimed a 6-3, 3-6, 3-6, 7-6, 6-3 victory.
Federer will play the winner of Tuesday night’s quarter final between Novak Djokovic and Milos Raonic in the semi-final.