Roger Federer will play his 15th Australian Open semi-finals after defeating the 100th-ranked American Tennys Sandgren on Tuesday. Federer managed to stay alive in the tournament and pursue his 21st Grand Slam title thanks to a memorable comeback that saw him save seven match points.
Federer won the first set easily with 6-3, but everything went downhill for the Swiss after that. Sandgren looked like he is playing the tennis match of his lifetime, while Federer seemed like he is one step too late with his serve constantly loosing on power.
Sandgren took the next two sets with the identical result (6-2, 6-2), and Federer looked like he is in trouble, being set up for another marathon after overcoming Australian John Millman in five sets in the third round.
Federer fell behind in the fourth set as well and seemed like he won’t be able to escape the defeat in this one. Sandgren took 5-4 lead in the set, and was up 40-15 on Federer’s serve, having three match points. Everything lined up for the 28-year-old to claim the biggest win of his career, but it wasn’t that easy with the greatest tennis player in the world being on the other side.
As he did so many times before, Roger Federer reached into his bag of magic tricks and found his way back into the match. Federer first saved all three match points to claim the game and then forced a tiebreaker. Tennys Sandgren didn’t lose spirit and once again had three match balls at 6-3.
Federer held on all three times, and once again at 7-6, to win the set and stay alive in the match. He then easily won the fifth and final one with 6-3 and sent Sandgren home.
“As the match went on, I started to feel better again, and all the pressure went away,” said Federer. “I don’t deserve this one, but I’m standing here, and I’m obviously very, very happy.”
Federer will face Novak Djokovic, who defeated Canadian Milos Raonic, in the semis on Thursday.