Roger Federer survives SEVEN match points to book spot in Australian Open semi-finals with thrilling five-set win over world No 100 Tennys Sandgren
- Roger Federer was on the brink of heading home during the fourth set
- However, he survived seven match points to progress to the semi-finals
- Federer defeated world No 100 Tennys Sandgren 6-3, 2-6, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3
Hindered by physical pain, given a code violation for bad language and facing seven match points, Roger Federer staged one of the most remarkable survival acts of his career to stay in the Australian Open.
Seven times he was on the cusp of defeat to world number 100 Tennys Sandgren, and seven times he pulled himself back to win 6-3, 2-6, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 in three hours and 31 minutes.
He was left awaiting the winner of Novak Djokovic and Milos Raonic, having equalled his record of match points saved, which came 17 years ago against Australian Scott Draper.
Roger Federer has progressed to the semi-finals of the Australian Open with a stunning victory
Federer greets opponent Tennys Sandgren at the net following their five-set thriller
American Sandgren was on the brink of victory but failed to get the win over the line
A fuming Federer was seen confronting a linesperson during the third game in the third set
According to commentators, the tennis star had let out an ‘R-rated German word’ and was shocked when Serbian chair umpire Marijana Veljovic called a code violation for an ‘audible obscenity’
Veljovic explained the Swiss lineswoman had heard him swear ‘very clearly’
‘You got to get lucky sometimes,’ said Federer. ‘I don’t know I was just hoping he was not going to smash the winner on one point. I got incredibly lucky today and as the match went on I started to feel better again. I served really well at the end. I’m standing here and I’m very very happy.
‘I was starting to feel my groin and my leg, I was struggling on defence. I don’t like calling the physio, it’s a sign of weakness. I believe in miracles, there could have been rain, it wasn’t bad enough that I thought it was going to get worse.
‘My draw is not getting easier. I will feel better in a couple of days and with these lucky escapes you can feel less pressure. I might as well make the most of it.’
The 38-year-old Swiss had looked entirely out of sorts in every department, with his forehand barely floating over the net at some stages.
At break point in the third game of the third set Federer snapped and used the F-word at the back of the court, which was reported by the line judge to Serbian umpire Marijana Veljovic.
Federer needed medical attention during the quarter-final clash with the American
World No 3 Federer appeared to be heading home before he rallied back in the fourth set
Fans cheer on Federer during his epic contest with Sandgren in Melbourne on Tuesday
The Swiss asked what he had said, to be told by the official that she could not repeat it. ‘I heard it kind of. But she heard it very clearly,’ said Veljovic.
Federer needed to be taken off court for his medical timeout, also in the third set, which lasted more than eight minutes and tested the composure of Sandgren.
He looked down and out in the fourth set when facing three set points at 4-5 but on each of them sat in the rally and waited for the hesitant Sandgren to make a mistake.
In the subsequent tiebreak at the changeover there was a bizarre incident when Sandgren leaned over his chair and stuck his leg out only for a ballgirl to run into it.
Despite it jarring his knee he moved to 6-3, only for Federer to again outlast him in the rallies in the four further match points, only one of which was on the American’s serve.