Thoughts on the Federer-Sandgren quarter-final?
The comments board below is open all day today. Can Sandgren beat him?
Great recovery from Federer
At 38 years old, it's no mean feat for Federer to go through an ordeal like the Millman epic and then return less than two days later looking frisky.
Fucsovics just didn't have enough
He was excellent in the first set, but once Federer warmed up into the match, Fucsovics rather fell away.
"It took some time to get into the match. I was looking to mix it up a bit more becuase it gets really slow in the night time when it's cooler like this. It was frosty!
"I think we're all happy it was this way! We don't want it incredibly hot.
He jokes that he had to count to three and then try to haul himself out of bed after the Millman match. Then wishes everyone a happy Australia day.
"I hope I'll see you again next year on Australia Day"
Then he pays tribute to Rod Laver and even John McEnroe, who's the one doing the blinking interview. What a charmer.
Then, on Tennys Sandgren
"He was never going to be a baseball player with that name. I'm looking forward to playing him. I've played a lot of tennis in my career but I've never played a Tennys!"
Earlier in that winning game Federer was briefly ratty with the line judge when a perfectly good first serve was called out, then overruled. Feels like he just wanted to get off court as quickly as possible.
He's won the match in well under three hours, which will be very welcome after the Millman epic.
Game, set, match Federer! 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2
A passing shot on the half-volley - from the baseline - takes Federer to match point but the net cord denies him on the first opportunity. Then another half-volley - this one even more extraordinary, on his approach to the net - earns him a second match point. This time Fucsovics rallies his way out.
It's third-time lucky though, as Federer finds a big first serve down the middle that Fucsovics returns into the net. For the 15th time in his career, Federer is through to the Aussie Open quarter final.
Fourth set: Federer 5* Fucsovics 2 (previous sets 4-6, 6-1, 6-2) * = serving next
Glorious forehand winner down the line from Federer, putting the ball into the one sliver of space in which his opponent could not reach it. Pretty much a classic of genre Federer, that.
And he breaks again! Federer challenges a baseline non-call, mid-rally, and is proved right by Hawk-Eye. He's been awesome on the challenges in this match. Now serving for a place in the quarters.
Fourth set: Federer 4 Fucsovics 2* (previous sets 4-6, 6-1, 6-2) * = serving next
Federer holds. Match rapidly reaching its death throes. Will Fucsovics, in his funeral director's garb, pull the pall over himself?
Fourth set: Federer 3* Fucsovics 2 (previous sets 4-6, 6-1, 6-2) * = serving next
Two break points for Federer, but Fucsovics manages to rally his way out of them. Then finds a first serve to hold on. Federer still a break up.
Fourth set: Federer 3 Fucsovics 1* (previous sets 4-6, 6-1, 6-2) * = serving next
Unbelieveable challenge from Federer wins him the game, spotting, somehow, that his first serve had indeed clipped the service line by approximately 1mm. Everything going his way now and Fucsovics puts his head down and his hands on his knees. He knows it too.
Fourth set: Federer 2* Fucsovics 1 (previous sets 4-6, 6-1, 6-2) * = serving next
Fucsovics holds serve.
Here's Tennys Sangren on the prospect of playing Federer in the quarters:
"It would be incredible to play him at least once in my career, and to meet him in the quarters of a slam would be special.
Fourth set: Federer 2 Fucsovics 0* (previous sets 4-6, 6-1, 6-2) * = serving next
A fourth ace wraps up this service game, which also featured a drive volley and a serve and volley one-two punch. Basically Federer at something close to his modern best.
Fourth set: Federer 1* Fucsovics 0 (previous sets 4-6, 6-1, 6-2) * = serving next
Federer breaks. The longer this match goes on, the more Federer seems to be dictating the rallies. He's essentially standing in the middle of the baseline and working on the Fucsovics backhand.
Federer wins third set! Federer 6 Fucsovics 2 (previous sets 4-6, 6-1)
Federer comes in behind his first serve and plonks down a volley that wins him the third set and gives him that two-set lead. Easy for the six-times Aussie Open champion.
Reminder: the winner of this match plays Tennys Sandgren in the quarters.
Third set: Federer 5* Fucsovics 2 (previous sets 4-6, 6-1) * = serving next
For goodness' sake. Federer breaks straight back - and does so because Fucsovics attempts a lashing crosscourt forehand that flies wide, then leaves a ball alone only to watch it bounce onto the line. Federer to serve for the third set and a two sets to one lead.
Third set: Federer 4 Fucsovics 2* (previous sets 4-6, 6-1) * = serving next
Oh! Wonderful lob from Fucsovics. Federer just turns around to watch the ball bouncing away from him. Then an unforced error on the Federer forehand gives the Hungarian two more break points. He converts the second, thanks to an unforced error on the Federer backhand.
Good for Fucsovics, but Federer still has a break in hand.
Third set: Federer 4* Fucsovics 1 (previous sets 4-6, 6-1) * = serving next
Couple of semi-spectacular points in this game, but possibly only becuase Federer has the lead that means he can afford to attempt, say, the ambitious topspin lob.
The question is whether Fucsovics can find a second wind from somewhere? He actually celebrated winning his serve after this game, which ain't always a great look.
Third set: Federer 4 Fucsovics 0* (previous sets 4-6, 6-1) * = serving next
Two break points for Fucsovics. He rather tosses away the first, then a big Federer first serve snuffs out the second. Very few aces so far this match from Federer, which is strange. But his accuracy is still frightening. He's not necessarily getting free points, but he's getting some very cheap ones.
Third set: Federer 3* Fucsovics 0 (previous sets 4-6, 6-1) * = serving next
Another clutch of break points for the Fed Express...and he wins the game with a stunning lashed backhand crosscourt. Fucsovics actually managed to get the ball back on the half-volley only for his opponent to place the ball past him and onto the line with the simplicity of a man placing a cup of tea on a coaster.
Match sliding away from Fucsovics. Fast.
Here's a picture of Federer next to a Rolex crown. Dear Rolex, please send me a watch.
Third set: Federer 2 Fucsovics 0* (previous sets 4-6, 6-1) * = serving next
Hmm. Fucsovics is playing some ropey tennis now. Federer came to the net in this game and, not for the first time, Fucsovics played a shot that was neither pass nor lob. That's the ninth game in the past ten won by Federer.
Third set: Federer 1* Fucsovics 0 (previous sets 4-6, 6-1) * = serving next
Glorious down the line backhand winner early in this game from Federer, then two break points on the Fucsovics serve. Fucsovics utterly loses his mind on the second and tries a slice forehand dropshot from close to the baseline! What on earth was that about? Federer was way out of position, true, but a simple forehand down the line would have sufficed. Federer breaks in the opening game!
Has Federer changed rackets?
Mats Wilander, courtside, thinks the Swiss might have switched to a slightly looser-strung racket, in an attempt to get a bit more pace onto the ball in relatively cool conditions.
Federer wins second set! Federer 6 Fucsovics 1 (previous sets: 4-6)
Holds to 15. Simples. We're all square after 1hr 3min.
Don't think Federer played very much better in that set; Fucsovics' level just dropped a touch compared with his form in the first set. Then he got a little unlucky at crucial points.
Second set: Federer 5* Fucsovics 1 (previous sets: 4-6) * = serving next
Second break for Federer. No luck for Fucsovics in that game. A groundstroke that bounced just long and a net cord on break point that meant Federer had an absolute gimme of a forehand to confirm the break. Federer will serve for the set.
Second set: Federer 4 Fucsovics 1* (previous sets: 4-6) * = serving next
One glorious rally in this game, featuring three successive shots of pure Federer, but then an unforced error that sets up a Fucsovics break point. Federer saves it with another approach to the net —a tactic that has worked well for him under pressure in this match so far. Then a classic one-two punch with the wide serve out to the Fucsovics backhand. Federer holds.
"One of the points of the match so far!" @RogerFederer with three spectacular shots to secure the points ��— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) January 26, 2020
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Second set: Federer 3* Fucsovics 1 (previous sets: 4-6) * = serving next
Fucsovics gets a foothold in the second set. Goes almost unnoticed by the crowd, although there is a little pocket of highly verbal Hungarian fans sitting up in the gods somewhere.
Second set: Federer 3 Fucsovics 0* (previous sets: 4-6) * = serving next
Federer put under a little bit of pressure on his serve but tugs Fucsovics this way and that, then slams a winner past him for a 3-0 lead in the second set.
Second set: Federer 2* Fucsovics 0 (previous sets: 4-6) * = serving next
Federer breaks!Not special from Fucsovics and on the second break point he misses a forehand wide. Didn't have a game like that at any point during the first set. Can't go off the boil now.
Steely so far from the Hungarian
Second set: Federer 1 Fucsovics 0* (previous sets: 4-6) * = serving next
Federer holds serve at the beginning of the first set in one minute and five seconds. Seemed to get that first set out of his system pretty quickly.
Interestingly Mats Wilander reports from courtside that the atmosphere on court feels heavy and a little cold - similar to conditions when Federer lost to Stefano Tsitipas last year at the Aussie Open.
Fucsovics wins first set! Federer 4 Fucsovics 6
Fucsovics's first ace gives him three set points but a thunderous Federer return saves the first of them. The Hungarian slots in a big kicking serve out wide and Federer can't get that back in court. First set to Fucsovics!
First set: Federer 4 Fucsovics 5* (* = serving next)
Federer under pressure on his serve again. Fucsovics dictating matters with his forehand. Classic shots of Mirka Federer looking concerned (imagine if your other half turned up to your workplace every day - weird) but Federer holds for 5-4.
Fucsovics serving for the first set. He usually has a bit of an issue with double-faulting. Fingers crossed he doesn't suffer a relapse here.
First set: Federer 3* Fucsovics 5 (* = serving next)
Fucsovics confirms the break with a hold to love, using his forehand to punch holes through the court. Federer has lost his timing a little, as shown when a ball pings off his frame from an otherwise nondescript forehand. He'll now be serving to stay in the set...
First set: Federer 3 Fucsovics 4* (* = serving next)
Three break points on the Federer serve! Federer snuff out the first two with stealthy approaches to the net but the Hungarian finds an important first serve return and pulls his opponent wide on the forehand. Federer finds the net and it's first blood to Fucsovics.
First set: Federer 3* Fucsovics 3 (* = serving next)
A brief hiatus in this game when a feather drifts across court. Unconfirmed rumours that it fell off one of Federer's wings.
No break points yet.
First set: Federer 3 Fucsovics 2* (* = serving next)
A service game flashes past in the blink of an eye. Federer beginning to purr.
First set: Federer 2* Fucsovics 2 (* = serving next)
Solid rallying from both men here - including the unusual sight of Roger Federer almost falling over when he was wrong-footed on the baseline by a Fucsovics passing shot. Obviously he didn't do anything as inelegant as actually falling over. Obviously.
Meanwhile, pretty extraordinary pair of shorts you've got there, Roger. Like they way they match the sweatband. Makes you look kind of like a children's TV presenter.
Fucsovics, meanwhile, is all in black. Like a funeral director. Which will be appropriate if he beats Federer here, as far as the crowd is concerned, at least.
First set: Federer 2 Fucsovics 1* (* = serving next)
Loving the fact that, back in 2010 when Fucsovics was winning the Wimbledon boys title, his opponent today was already a 16-times grand-slam champion.
First set: Federer 1* Fucsovics 1 (* = serving next)
Bit early to say whether Federer's game is in full working order, but his eyes are obviously ok. He managed to spot that a Fucsovics first serve was too deep by about 2mm. Quick! Someone get him a sponsorship deal for his retinas.
First set: Federer 1 Fucsovics 0* (* = serving next)
No dangers for the Swiss in the opening exchanges. Wins to 30. Obviously the aim for Fucsovics will be to take Federer long in each set - find out just how much was taken out of him by that epic against Millman in the third round.
Play about to start.
Fucsovics won the coin toss and will receive serve. Here we go....
Players out on court
If Roger Federer wins this match, he'll achive his 101st victory at the Australian Open. Just think about that for a second. Perhaps try counting to 100. Quite something, right.
Fun Fucsovics fact: he's never beaten a player from the top 10.
It was exceptionally hard playing with the wind. I struggled a bit tonight but was able to get some of the big holds I needed.
I love Petra but let's hope she doesn't break my heart on Tuesday! I'm excited to get another opportunity in a grand slam quarter final.
Jim Courier then wishes Barty a happy Australia Day. Much cheering.
A double fault on match point from Alison Riske sends the Australian through to the quarter finals, where she'll meet Petra Kvitova, who beat her at this tournament last year.
Winner to play Sandgren
The winner of the Federer v Fucsovics contest will face Tennys Sandgren in the quarter finals after the unseeded American knocked out Fabio Fognini, the No 12 seed, in four sets, two of which went to tie breaks. Looked like a bruising encounter.
Barty v Riske is back on serve
Turning into a bit of a humdinger on Rod Laver Arena. Barty not looking very much like a World No 1 who's more than 2,000 ranking points ahead of her nearest competitor. All square in the decider at 4-4.
"Come on, Rog!"
There's something very tennis about the way random fans tweet directly at their favourite players. Love the idea that Roger Federer, a few minutes before a fourth-round grand slam tie, is sitting in the locker room scrolling through his notifications.
Barty breaks in the third set
The Aussie has clicked into a totally different gear. Crowd loving it, obviously. And, bizarrely, they'll probably be even more vocal in a few minutes when they catch sight of a 38-year-old Swiss bloke.
Riske wins the second set
The match against Barty is going to a decider after Riske, below, romped through the second set 6-1. Barty basically had a set off - needs to regroup.
Federer seeking his 21st Grand Slam title
The last time he won on the biggest stage was 2018, in Melbourne. Currently No 3 in the world, if he gets through this round he faces either Tennys Sandgren or Fabio Fognini in the quarters. Then comes a likely match-up with Djokovic (the world No 2) in the semis and a possible final against Nadal (the world No 1) this time next week.
In men's grand slam tennis sometimes it's kind of like the last ten years didn't happen.
Riske breaks early in the second set
The American proving that Barty won't have it all her own way - in the match before Federer v Fucsovics - and is 3-0 up in the second.
"I want to make my country proud"
So says Fucsovics, who reached a career high of 31 in March last year.
“The key is to work hard before tournaments and to arrive with a fresh mind and physically,” he says. “I don’t like to play week after week, I like going home for a few days, to refuel the tank. In beating [Denis] Shapovalov, [Jannick] Sinner and [Tommy] Paul so far this week, I've felt fresh. I've been clear on my tactics and I've served well, backing up my groundstrokes.
“I want to make my country proud. I want to be better and better.”
Ash Barty wins the first set
The Australian beat her American opponent Alison Riske 6-3. Good contest though. Federer v Fucsovics follows this match.
Fucsovics on Federer
“It’s not going to be easy against Roger, but I am playing the best tennis of my career,” said Fucsovics, after beating Tommy Paul 6-1, 6-1, 6-4 in the third round on Friday. “I feel like I’m getting older, more mature and experienced, but I’m still working hard. Since I changed my coaches two months ago, we’ve been working on my serve day-by-day.
“I was a newcomer two years ago [when he lost to Federer at this stage of the Australian Open], it was my first year in the Top 100. I was very hungry and positive. Two years ago, against Roger, it was a sensation to reach the fourth round and play my idol. We played in the 2019 Dubai quarter-finals and I was close to the winning the first set. I now have more experience, I’m stronger than two years ago, and I really want to beat him.”
These two have previous
Fucsovics and Federer have played only twice before, the first of those meetings coming at the 2018 Australian Open, also in the fourth round. Federer dispatched the Hungarian on that occasion, winning 6-4, 7-6, 6-2.
He said afterwards (in that unavoidably patronising way): "I thought he played very well. Fast conditions, you have to have quick ideas and execute well and I think he did that very well. I had a hard time breaking through until two sets to love and a break. Credit to him for playing a great tournament, that's what I told him at the net."
The second time they met was in Dubai last year, when Federer came through in two sets.
....depends on how long the match extends between Alison Riske and Ash Barty, the world No 1 (pictured below) on the Rod Laver Arena. Three breaks of serve in the first set so far.
It was all going so well for Roger Federer, who swept aside Filip Krajinovic in the first round (6-1, 6-4, 6-1), then danced past Steve Johnson in the second (6-3, 6-2, 6-2) only to get embroiled in an absolute monster match against John Millman in round three. Having been four points down, and two points from defeat, in the final-set tie-break, somehow Federer reeled off six points on the trot to win one of the great tie-breaks of his career.
Simon Briggs watched it all unfold, calling it "one of the great feats of escapology". A mere 40-odd hours later, the world No 3 is back to face Hungarian Marton Fucsovics, the unseeded Hungarian who dumped out Denis Shapovalov, the world No 13, in the first round.