Roger Federer survives incredible fifth set tie break as he claws his way back from 8-4 down to stay in the Australian Open by beating John Millman
- Roger Federer is through to the Australian Open fourth-round after epic clash
- John Millman collapsed in tie break after being 8-4 up in front of home crowd
- Federer came from behind to win 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (10-8)
- Home favourite Millman claimed the opening set before Federer hit back
- Millman claimed the fourth before taking an early break in the decider
- Federer broke back but it stayed on serve to bring about fifth set tie break
A remarkable day at the Australian Open that spilled into the weekend ended with Roger Federer dramatically avoiding the same fate as some of the women’s top names.
The 38 year-old Swiss, born 49 days apart from Serena Williams, survived his third round encounter by beating the host nation’s John Millman 6-4, 6-7, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 in four hours and three minutes.
With the time approaching 1am it came down to a sudden death first-to-ten tiebreak which Millman began fearlessly thanks to a stunning series of passing shots that had the Rod Laver Arena on his feet.
Roger Federer takes the acclaim of the crowd after surviving a third-round scare
John Millman of Australia speaks during a press conference following his loss to Roger Federer
Millman looks devastated after the loss in the fifth set to Roger Federer
John Millman vents his frustration on his racket as he throws away a third-round victory
Federer was entitled to feel his age as they whizzed past but from 4-8 down his opponent began to miss and he ran off six points to make a fourth round appointment with Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics.
Memories were kindled of the stifling night at the 2018 US Open when the same player knocked him out.
The heat was not an issue this time, but Federer unusually lacked the ideas to work out the aggressive baseliner from Queensland ranked 47 in the world.
The unrelenting Millman would not lie down until the pressure got to him at the end, leaving Federer relieved.
Millman celebrates after taking Federer to a fifth set on the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne
Millman celebrates winning a point in his five-set third-round battle with Federer
Federer looks on as he is taken all the way by Australian opponent Millman on Friday
Federer looks to smash a forehand over the net during his game against Millman
Federer stretches to play a backhand shot as he struggles against the world No 47
‘Oh God it was tough, John played a great match, he’s a great fighter,’ said Federer.
‘I had to stay focussed, he kept on coming up with the goods. The demons are always there, what a match. He did a great job keeping me on the back foot.’
While devastated with the loss, Millman said he couldn’t have done any more.
‘Yeah, I’m disappointed – I left it all out there and I didn’t win,’ he said.
‘I’d probably rather lose it like 10-5 or something.
‘Obviously would have been great to have served an ace and have a few matchies and put it to bed but it didn’t happen.
‘You know, s***, I played some all right tennis to get to that stage.’
The match capped a dramatic day in Melbourne as both Williams and defending champion Naomi Osaka were bundled out.
Williams was beaten by Chinese No 1 Wang Qiang while Osaka was knocked out by American teenage sensation Coco Gauff.
Another former champion, Caroline Wozniacki was another to suffer an early exit, beaten by Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in her last match before retirement.
Millman looks to play a backhand shot back into court during his battle with Federer
The night sky can be seen overhead as Federer and Millman begin their third-round match