World no. 3 Roger Federer advanced to his 15th Australian Open quarter-final last year, achieving that from 21 trips to Melbourne. In the fourth round, Roger took down Marton Fucsovics in four sets in just over two hours to remain on the title course.
The Swiss lost the opening set and shifted into a higher gear to bring the victory home without spending too much time on the court, especially following that epic four-hour marathon against John Millman two days earlier.
After that early setback, Roger found a way to tame Marton's shots and dominate from the second set, keeping everything under control and setting the quarter-final meeting with Tennys Sandgren, the lowest-ranked player left in the draw.
After failing to qualify for the main draw in Melbourne for five straight years, Tennys defeated Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem in 2018 to reach the quarter-final out of nowhere, ranked 97th in the world. Two years later, the American barely kept a place in the top-100 after losing the points from Auckland last year, where he claimed the first and only ATP title.
The American struggled to make an impression on the ATP Tour in the rest of 2019, and he found his A-game in Melbourne last year to find himself in another quarter-final. Tennys took down the best from the Italian squad to clinch victories over Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini and set the first clash against Roger Federer, hoping for a miracle against one of the greatest players of all time.
Roger Federer and Tenny Sandgren met at the last year's Australian Open.
Following his win over Fucsovics, Roger joked that he has played a lot of tennis throughout his career but never against someone named Tennys, looking forward to the upcoming clash against a guy with a perfect name for our sport.
As it turned out, Federer and Sandgren played one of the most entertaining matches of the entire season, with the Swiss prevailing 6-3, 2-6, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 after three and a half hours, fending off seven match points in the fourth set to find himself in the last four.
"Tennys was not gonna be a baseball player, not with that name. It's unreal, actually. I'm looking forward to playing against him; I never played against Tennys; I played a lot of tennis in my life but never against Tennys," Roger Federer said.