Commentators and fans are questioning how American Tennys Sandgren will recover from a devastating loss to Roger Federer after missing seven match points in the Australian Open quarter-final.
Not even a half-a-million-dollar pay day was enough to console Sandgren after the quintessential tennis battler blew the opportunity of a lifetime in a rollercoaster match against Federer that had everything.
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"I could just as easily be in the semis right now, but I'm not, so ...," Sandgren rued after his gut-wrenching 6-3 2-6 2-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3 loss to the 20-times grand slam champion at Melbourne Park.
"Back to the drawing board, you know. Back to the drawing board.
"Keep working. Keep trying to improve. Maybe I'll get another look, another shot. Maybe I'll come through."
Tennis experts felt for Sandgren and asked whether he would be able to let those moments go next time it comes around.
Tennys Sandgren was one point away—seven times!—from BY FAR the biggest win of his career.— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) January 28, 2020
He leaves with a loss that you have to seriously wonder if he ever recovers from.
No sport has such impossibly small margins. Cruelest—and without question the best—sport in the world.
"I believe in miracles," Federer says— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) January 28, 2020
I wonder if Tennys Sandgren still does
Worst choke I’ve seen since Collingwood in the 2018 AFL Grand Final. https://t.co/J0opzf1rET— maddie (@_maddie_) January 28, 2020
Despite this, Sandgren showed his sense of humour on Twitter after the heartbreaking loss.
What’s the rule here folks- a double shot for each match point you didn’t convert?— Tennys Sandgren (@TennysSandgren) January 28, 2020
Sandgren praises Federer
All seven of Sandgren's match points came deep in the fourth set.
But, to be fair, the underdog didn't do much wrong. Federer, showing why he's widely considered the GOAT - greatest of all time - hung tough.
"Yeah, he played them well. Obviously he played them well," Sandgren said.
"I could have played them better. I've run through them (the match points) a bunch of times.
"He was aggressive on one, passive on a few, came in on one - (I) could have put the volley in a different spot. He read it well, hit two good passes.
"Put me in an awkward spot on the last one I had. Missed the approach. He probably would have passed me anyway. It was in a bad spot.
"Yeah, you know, all credit to him for sure. Tennis is a crazy sport. Seven (match points) is not that many. Was it seven?
"One on my serve. Really not that many. If I had, like, six on my serve, I'd be really pissed off."