After an early scare, Roger Federer took down Marton Fucsovics 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in two hours and 11 minutes to reach the record-breaking 15th Australian Open quarter-final. It was the 101st victory at Melbourne Park for Roger who will now face Tennys Sandgren in the battle for the semis.
Marton made the better start, dropping only seven points on serve in the first set and earning one break to grab an early lead. Federer forced an error from Fucsovics in the first game to hold at 30 before the Hungarian hit a service winner to bring the second game home and level the score at 1-1.
The third game was shorter than the previous two and Roger clinched it with an ace to move in front again, taking two points on the return in the next game but losing it following a forehand winner from Fucsovics who caught the 20-time Major champion on the wrong foot, something you don't see that often.
The Swiss secured another game with well-placed serves that pushed him 3-2 in front, winning a couple of points on the return again in the sixth game but staying on that as Marton locked the scoreboard at 3-3. The Hungarian created three break chances in the seventh game following a costly volley error from Federer at the net, converting the third when Roger failed to defend from a powerful forehand of his rival who moved 4-3 in front.
Firing from all cylinders and especially with his forehand, Fucsovics held at love a few minutes later to cement the break and move 5-3 up, forcing Roger to serve for staying in the set. The Swiss held with a forehand winner to reduce the deficit and prolong the set but only for a couple of minutes, as Marton wrapped up the opener with another powerful hold in the tenth game for a 6-4 after 36 minutes.
Still struggling to find the first serve, Marton couldn't produce numbers from the opening set in the second part of the match, getting broken twice and allowing Roger to take the set 6-1. Federer held at love in the first game with a forehand drive-volley winner and broke Marton in game two when the Hungarian sent a forehand long.
A forehand winner in game three pushed Roger 3-0 up, already looking much sharper on the court than in the opener. Fucsovics held at love in the fourth game with a service winner to get his name on the scoreboard, creating a break chance in the next game that Roger saved with a well-constructed attack, bringing the game home with a forehand down the line winner to increase the advantage to a 4-1.
Finding the range on the return, Federer blasted another forehand down the line winner to grab the second break and race into a 5-1 advantage, closing the set in the next game with a service winner to improve his chances of reaching the quarters after 63 minutes of play.
The first serve worked against both players in set number three and it was Roger who played better when it mattered the most, seizing three break chances and suffering one break for a 6-2. Marton got broken in the first game after a mediocre drop shot that couldn't pass the net, with Federer holding at 15 in game two to confirm the break and establish the advantage.
The Swiss ruled the court in those moments, landing a forehand winner in the third game to move further in front and repelling two break chances in the next game to move 4-0 up and closer to the finish line. Fucsovics held at 15 in the fifth game with a service winner and earned two break points in game six following a forehand error from Roger, converting the second after a backhand error from world no.
3 to pull one break back. Returning in game seven, Federer clinched the third break of the set with a beautiful backhand crosscourt winner, serving for the set after the break. Marton wasted a break chance that could have kept him in the set a little bit longer, as Roger sealed it with two volley winners that sent him one step away from victory.
The Swiss was on a roll now, securing a break in the first game of the fourth set and delivering one good hold after another to maintain the advantage. Returning at 4-2, Federer delivered another break after a forehand error from the Hungarian, sealing the deal in the next game to advance into the quarter-final.