Roger Federer aims to improve to 15-0 in Australian Open quarter-finals when he faces World No. 100 Tennys Sandgren on Tuesday.
Roger Federer ?? vs Tennys Sandgren ?? Match Info
Date: Tuesday January 28
Tournament: Australian Open QF
Court: Rod Laver Arena
Time: 2.30pm local time (3.30am GMT)
Roger Federer vs Tennys Sandgren Head-to-Head
Roger Federer vs Tennys Sandgren Match Preview
Can Federer remain unbeaten in Australian Open quarter-finals when he comes up against surprise two-time quarter-finalist Sandgren on Tuesday?
After cruising through his opening two rounds in comfortable straight sets against Steve Johnson and Filip Krajinovic, Federer has found himself fighting for survival in order to reach the last eight for a record 15th time in Melbourne. The six-time Australian Open champion was on the brink of defeat against John Millman in the third round as he fell behind 8-4 in the deciding set match tiebreak, but somehow the Swiss staged a remarkable comeback to reel off the next six points to secure what was his 100th Australian Open match win.
Clearly feeling the affects of what was an energy-sapping baseline war of attrition, Federer started slowly in his fourth round duel with Marton Fucsovics – the same man he beat in the R16 here two years ago. The Hungarian continued his fine form this tournament to win the opening set, but that seemed to be the wake up call Federer needed, with the 38-year-old going on to win 18 of the next 23 games to emerge triumphant by a 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-2 scoreline and reach the 57th Grand Slam quarter-final of his legendary career.
“It was a tough start, I thought Marton played clean,” said Federer. “I guess it was the rest of the Millman match, that guy gave me a beatdown from the baseline, so maybe it took my confidence away a little bit and I think it just took some time.”
“The morning after John’s match and this morning, I lay in bed for like an hour and I was like, ‘When are we going to stand up?’… I’m good. I was able to recover and play a good match, so I am sure I am going to feel better with every day that goes by after that match.”
It’s only natural that at 38 years of age, those types of physically-taxing matches are going to stay with Federer for longer than they used to – but if his performance towards the end of the Fucsovics match is anything to go by, he should be back to full fitness by the time the quarter-finals roll around.
Federer is aiming for his first Grand Slam title in two years this fortnight in Melbourne after winning his last major at the 2018 Australian Open. With Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic breathing down his neck in the chase for most singles majors won, the Swiss knows this season could be the year where he is overtaken if he doesn’t win at least one more.
After coming agonisingly close at Wimbledon in 2019, missing out on two championship points against Djokovic in the final, Federer realises time is running out to get his hands on more major silverware. Having received a fantastic draw all things considered to make the semi-finals, can he take advantage in Melbourne? He faces another baseline battler in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.
Sandgren has continued his love affair with the Australian Open over the last week, amazingly backing up his shock run to the 2018 quarter-finals by doing so again, coming through a number of gruelling matches to secure his ticket to the last eight. Sandgren began his campaign with a straight sets dispatch of Marco Trungelliti before knocking out eighth seed Matteo Berrettini in a five-set thriller. The American then put away countryman Sam Querrey in straight sets before an entertaining four-set triumph over the mercurial 12th seed Fabio Fognini in the fourth round on Sunday.
After coming close to facing Rafael Nadal at the Wimbledon quarter-finals last year, Sandgren is looking forward squaring off against the legendary Federer in Melbourne.
“It will be very special, very special [to play against Federer],” said Sandgren. “I was kicking myself that I lost to a too good Sam Querrey at Wimbledon in the Round of 16 because I would have played Rafa in the quarter-finals.
“That would have been very special. I was a little upset that I wasn’t able to get to that match. It will be incredibly special to be able to play him at least once in my career. To play him on a big stage like the quarter-finals of a Slam will be a tonne of fun really.”
Sandgren is developing into something of a January specialist and a thorn in the side of top 20 players at Grand Slams. Incredibly, 14 of his 36 tour-level wins have come in the first month of the season, while he’s now 5-2 against top 20 opposition at the majors – only Djokovic and Nadal (not even Federer) have a better winning percentage. Sandgren also captured his one and only ATP title in Auckland last year, just before the Australian Open. Can he provide another memorable January moment on Tuesday?
Roger Federer vs Tennys Sandgren Prediction
I actually give a fully fit Sandgren a decent chance of the upset here. His game is a lot like Millman’s, but probably a bit more powerful, while he gets more free points off his serve, so in theory, he should be able to trouble Federer. I do worry that he was moving gingerly at times against Fognini, but if he’s overcome whatever issue that was, Sandgren has the game to outlast Federer in baseline exchanges, much like Millman did. Federer is obviously the favourite, but the great man is losing a lot more of these types of matches than he ever used to….