After surviving by the skin of teeth against John Millman, Roger Federer aims to improve to 3-0 over Marton Fucsovics when the pair clash in the Australian Open fourth round on Sunday.
Roger Federer ?? vs Marton Fucsovics ?? Match Info
Date: Sunday January 26
Tournament: Australian Open R16
Court: Rod Laver Arena
Time: 8.30pm local time (9.30am GMT)
Roger Federer vs Marton Fucsovics Head-to-Head
Federer leads 2-0
2019 | Dubai QF | Federer 7-6(6) 6-4
2018 | Australian Open R16 | Federer 6-4 7-6(3) 6-2
Roger Federer vs Marton Fucsovics Match Preview
It’s a rematch of the 2018 Australian Open fourth round as Federer takes on Fucsovics for a place in the quarter-finals on Sunday.
After cruising through his first two sets in easy straight sets against Steve Johnson and Filip Krajinovic, Federer found himself on the brink of a shock elimination against home favourite John Millman on Friday night. The Australian famously conquered Federer in an extremely hot and humid night in New York at the U.S. Open in 2018, and well after midnight, it appeared as if lighting was going to strike twice for Millman as he surged to a 8-4 lead in the deciding match tiebreak in the fifth set.
Millman hit a series of jaw-dropping passing shots and had all the momentum as the pair changed ends, but the Australian seemingly froze two points from victory, committing a bunch of unforced errors to let Federer back into the match – and the Swiss didn’t need a second invitation, guessing right on his first match point as he fired a forehand pass cross-court past the outstretched hands of Millman to claim his 100th Australian Open win – and one of his most memorable ones at that.
💯not out 👊
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 24, 2020
“It doesn’t happen very often like this, because we’re not used to [Match Tie-breaks] and being down by such a big margin is rare for us,” said Federer. “[I have] played a few, I guess, in the doubles. A few in the Laver Cup as well. So you always feel as long as it’s not match point you’re still in it.
“But the air gets so incredibly thin. And you know that any over-hitting, too much risk or just handing over a point at this moment will cost you dearly. It’s a very, very tight balance you have to choose there… This one was unique in many ways that I was able to turn a [Match Tie-break] around like this in an atmosphere. It was crazy, fun and I couldn’t be more happy, of course. Big relief.”
Federer knows he was lucky to get out of that match, with the 38-year-old committing countless unforced errors, especially off his forehand wing. The contrast between his level against Millman and his first two rounds was enormous, but credit must also go to the Australian, who is one of the biggest competitors on tour, fought for every single point and forced Federer into uncomfortable positions with his relentless baseline play.
Federer’s escape act means he has the chance to take advantage of his section of the draw opening up and to advance into a likely semi-final showdown with Novak Djokovic – who he beat in straight sets in their last meeting at the ATP Finals in November. However, Federer can’t afford to look past his fourth round rival, who has played very well against him in their previous two meetings.
Fucsovics, a former junior World No. 1 and Wimbledon champion, took a while to make the transition from Challengers to the ATP World Tour, but after breaking into the top 100 for the first time in 2017, he’s been a solid player and established himself as a tour regular. The 27-year-old won his first ATP title in Geneva in 2018, beating Stan Wawrinka, and also advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open that season, losing to Federer in a tight straight sets match as he became the first Hungarian to make that stage of a slam since 1984.
Fucsovics hit a career-high ranking of No. 31 in March last year after making the Sofia final and quarter-finals in Rotterdam and Dubai, but he didn’t have a great end to the season and finished 2019 at No. 70 in the world. However, Fucsovics has been in excellent form to start 2020, qualifying and reaching the quarter-finals in Doha before earning three tremendous wins at the Australian Open, knocking out 14th seed Denis Shapovalov in four sets int he opening round, along with dominant straight set triumphs over Jannik Sinner and Tommy Paul.
Roger Federer vs Marton Fucsovics Prediction
In the form he’s in, Fucsovics has a chance of really taking this match to Federer, who was sloppy and lucky to survive against Millman. The Hungarian has a similar game in that he has no real weakness, but is equipped with a stronger serve and better slice backhand. The match is of course on Federer’s racquet, and you’d expect a response from Friday night, but if the Swiss isn’t careful, he could be dragged into another unwanted battle here.