Monday, January 27, 2020

Federer saves seven match points, tops Sandgren

Roger Federer said he was "incredibly lucky" to defeat Tennys Sandgren tonight
in the Australian Open quarterfinals. 2017 photo by Mal Taam
   Third-seeded Roger Federer saved seven match points tonight in a 6-3, 2-6, 2-6, 7-6 (8), 6-3 victory over unseeded American Tennys Sandgren, the runner-up in the 2017 Tiburon (Calif.) Challenger, in the Australian Open quarterfinals in Melbourne.
   Federer, 38, escaped three match points while serving at 4-5 in the fourth set and four in the tiebreaker.
Tennys Sandgren almost became the lowest-ranked American
to reach the Australian Open semifinals since Patrick McEnroe
in 1991. File photo by Paul Bauman
   "I was incredibly lucky today," Federer, whose only Northern California appearance came in a 2018 San Jose exhibition, said in an on-court interview. " ... I don't deserve this one, but I'm standing here and obviously very, very happy."
   Federer took an 8 1/2-minute medical timeout off the court for a groin problem at 0-3 (one service break) in the second set.
   Sandgren, an Australian Open quarterfinalist in 2018, out-aced Federer 27-5, the biggest discrepancy of the Swiss star's career.
   The 28-year-old Sandgren, at No. 100, almost became the lowest-ranked man to reach the Australian Open semifinals since No. 114 Patrick McEnroe in 1991 and the first American to advance to the final four in Melbourne since Andy Roddick in 2009.
   Federer is set to play second-seeded Novak Djokovic, the defending and seven-time champion. Djokovic eliminated 32nd-seeded Milos Raonic, an Australian Open semifinalist in 2016, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (1).
   Djokovic, 32, is 26-23 against Federer. Djokovic has won four of the past five meetings, including his epic victory in last year's Wimbledon final. Djokovic saved two championship points in the 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3) win. At 4 hours, 57 minutes, it's the longest Wimbledon final ever.

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