Roger Federer Fights Off Upset at Australian Open

Roger Federer Fights Off Upset at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — In a Friday rocked by upsets at the Australian Open, Roger Federer fought off another shock, defeating the unseeded Australian John Millman, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (10-8) in a third-round match that ended well after midnight.

Federer trailed by 8-4 in the fifth set tiebreaker, only to reel off six straight points to take the match. It was his 100th match win at the Australian Open in 20 main draw appearances.

On a day in which Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka suffered stunning defeats against players they had easily beaten at last year’s United States Open, Federer avoided a repeat of a previous surprise.

Millman had beaten Federer in the fourth round of the 2018 United States Open, a four-set slog in humid conditions that left the normally unflappable Federer dripping with perspiration.

Conditions were cool and temperate on Friday evening — though Millman still sweated through a pair of shoes — but Federer, 38, again struggled to match the physicality of an opponent eight years his junior.

Federer won the most recent of his 20 Grand Slam titles two years ago here, and lost that title defense in the fourth round last year against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

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