We are not going to make you the blow of the tennis lover who explains to you that this meeting could not be closed except by a victory with the snatch of the favorite after four hours of match (4-6, 7-6 [2 ], 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 ). To be frank, we thought we saw Roger Federer get out on Friday in the third round of the Australian Open and match his worst performance in a Grand Slam tournament since 2015 and another disappointment in Melbourne.
You know what ? Him too. "I was already starting to think about how I was going to talk about my defeat at the press conference," he said to the Melbourne audience, more inclined to support the struggling legend than to push the local player, John Millman.
The Swiss Maestro survives 👊 @ rogerfederer outlasts a spirited John Millman 4-6 7-6 (2) 6-4 4-6 7-6 (8) to reach the fourth round at the #AusOpen for the 18th time. # AO2020 pic .twitter.com / wuMb4U1aBO- #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 24, 2020
His name does not mean much to the general public, but the 38-year-old Swiss knows the 47th player well. In 2018, Millman took him out in the round of 16 of the US Open during their only meeting in Grand Slam. In the Rod Laver Arena, the Australian pushed him to the fifth set and the super tie-break. And in this very special exercise, Millman led 8-4, two small points behind the win. Before collapsing against the return of Federer, who had the merit of winning the following six exchanges to win.
82 direct faults in the match!
“I never felt comfortable. John was very good at keeping me on the defensive until the last point, ”admitted the Swiss. And beyond the result, Roger Federer worried even the most fervent of his fans with the incredible number of 82 direct faults. Which, before switching to the knockout stages, does not encourage believing that he can afford a twenty-first Grand Slam title.
But the Swiss, winner for the hundredth time in Melbourne, has for him a picture which does not reserve him an insurmountable monster before a potential semi-final against the defending champion, Novak Djokovic. Rendezvous Sunday against the Hungarian Marton Fucsovics, who did not take him a set during their two meetings. But was it the same Roger Federer?