Roger Federer required five sets to get the better of unheralded American Tennys Sandgren and reach the Australian Open quarter-finals.
Roger Federer joked he had never played Tennys before, ahead of his last-16 game with the powerful American but Sandgren put the former world number one to the test.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) January 28, 2020
The six-time Australian Open winner faced down seven match points in the fourth set before forcing a deciding set.
It started brightly for the Swiss winning the first set 6-3. The 20-time Grand Slam champion would have expected to have a straightforward day at the office from there on, but Tennys had other ideas. The American won the next two sets with minimal fuss, conceding just four games.
For the third round in a row, the Swiss legend was going to have a fight on his hands. Two rounds previously the Australian journeyman John Millman took Federer to five sets and was two points from knocking out the former World number one.
Federer claimed that match took its toll with a sluggish start in the fourth round against Márton Fucsovics. The Swiss legend obliged in four sets that cool evening in Melbourne.
The sluggishness of the record grand-slam winner continued in the clash with Sandgren. After saving five match points in the fourth set, the big moment in the deciding set came in the sixth game when Federer broke the serve of Sandgren.
That swung the set 4-2 in favour of the 20-time Slam winner. Federer held his serve for a 5-2 lead before Sandgren had a moan at the chair umpire. It had little consequence as Federer was serving for the match with a 5-3 lead.
Sandgren did provide some resistance in what turned out to be the final game of the match, but the American sent Federer's serve back into the net at 40-30 and that was game set and match to former world number one.
The quest for the record 21st Grand Slam is still on for Federer, but it will not get any easier, next up for the Swiss is the winner of Novak Djokovic and Milos Raonic.