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Roger Federer is making his 21st appearance at the Australian Open.

Slow Start, Fast Finish For Federer

Swiss to face Sandgren in quarter-finals

Roger Federer became the first man to reach 15 Australian Open quarter-finals on Sunday, sprinting from a set down to beat Marton Fucsovics 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 at Rod Laver Arena.

Two days after surviving a final-set match tie-break against John Millman, the six-time champion broke serve on seven occasions to move clear of 14-time quarter-finalist John Newcombe. Federer has now reached the last eight at 57 Grand Slam events.

“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."

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It is the second time in three years that Federer has beaten Fucsovics in the fourth round in Melbourne, having also ended the Hungarian’s run in 2018. With his two-hour, 11-minute victory, Federer improves to 3-0 in his ATP Head2Head series against the 27-year-old.

“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.”

With a semi-final spot on the line, Federer will face two-time Australian Open quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgren for the first time. Sandgren battled past 12th seed Fabio Fognini 7-6(5), 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-4 in three hours and 27 minutes.

“He was not going to be a baseball player, that’s for sure, with that name. It’s unreal actually,” joked Federer in his on-court interview with John McEnroe. “I am looking forward to playing against him. I have never played against Tennys. I have played a lot of tennis in my life, but never against Tennys.”

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Fucsovics made the quicker start under the lights, claiming the opening break of the match at 3-3. Three errors from Federer handed the Hungarian triple break point, with Fucsovics ripping a forehand up the line to convert his third opportunity. The 6’2” right-hander took the opening set with a comfortable service hold, as Federer missed a cross-court forehand return.

An emphatic reaction followed from Federer, who held serve to love before striking winners up the line off both wings to break for a 2-0 lead. Federer soon clinched a second service break, as the forehand winners continued to flow, and he levelled the match with a swinging serve into Fucsovics’ forehand.

Federer took the momentum into a crucial third set, landing a huge backhand down the line to win the opening point. The Swiss mixed the pace well and showed great touch en route to a 4-0 lead, as Fucsovics struggled to find a way past the 38-year-old. Despite dropping serve in the sixth game, the six-time champion Federer moved one set away from the quarter-finals with a short backhand volley.

”Things went very quick. I think it's good for me to know that I can put streaks like this together,” said Federer. “I think in any tournament I played very well, I had those streaks happening at some point.”

For the third straight set, Federer earned an immediate service break. The World No. 3 attacked his opponent’s forehand, extracting multiple errors as he closed in on the last eight. Federer booked his meeting against Sandgren with a powerful serve into Fucsovics’ forehand.

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“I was looking to mix it up a little bit more. It gets really slow in the night time, especially when it is cool like this, so I just had to figure it out and I finally found a way," said Federer. "I had a good start to the second set and from then on, things got a little bit easier.”

Fucsovics was aiming to become the first Hungarian player to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals. The World No. 67 upset 13th seed Denis Shapovalov in the first round, then earned straight-sets wins against Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannik Sinner and American Tommy Paul.

“He really played a great tournament,” said Federer. “He beat three young guys, [got] through a tough section to make it to the fourth round.

“I was surprised also, like Sandgren, that he's not ranked higher. I think a lot of Marton. I think through this result, it's going to give him a lot of confidence moving forward, and we'll see him back in the Top 50 very, very soon.”

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