Ranked 100th, Tennys Sandgren repeated his 2018 Melbourne magic in January last year, reaching his second Australian Open quarter-final following wins over Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini. In a battle for the first Major semi-final, Tennys faced the 20-time Major champion Roger Federer, delivering one of his best performances ever and standing on the verge of victory against the legend and a six-time Australian Open winner.
After three hours and 31 minutes, the Swiss maestro prevailed 6-3, 2-6, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3, fending off seven match points in the fourth set and performing one of his most dramatic escapes ever. Struggling with a groin injury, Federer could not do much in sets two and three, overpowered by a brave American completely before he found his strokes again in set number four to remain in touch.
Tennys Sandgren spoke about that epic clash against Roger Federer in Melbourne.
Facing an almost inevitable elimination, Roger erased those match points in the fourth set's tenth game and the tie break, staying alive and gathering a massive boost ahead of the decider.
Saving seven match points for the first time since Cincinnati 2003, Federer became the favorite ahead of the decider and sealed the deal to keep Tennys empty-handed. Squandering a huge opportunity to beat one of the greatest players of all time, Sandgren needed some time to process the loss and the encounter in general.
The American felt disappointed in the first couple of hours after the clash, trying to take all the positive things together with his family, coaches and friends. Playing on a high level against the opponent who was far from his best due to the physical issues, Sandgren stood as the favorite in set number four after a dominant performance in the previous two.
Still, seven match points were not enough for the American to move over the top, squandering them all and allowing Federer to set the semi-final clash against Novak Djokovic. "The first hour or two hours after the match, you are just disappointed.
You can not continuously think about something negatively, and you have to flip that into something positive. There were many positive things to take from that encounter. My family, coaches and friends were there for me; they all felt for me.
They wanted to make sure I was ok and that I took the positives despite the fact I did not win, things like that. They were gutted for me, too," Tennys Sandgren said.