Roger Federer: 'We are all united around...'
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 14089
In the third round of last year's Australian Open, six-time winner Roger Federer defeated local star John Millman 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 in four hours and three minutes. Roger and John provided an unforgettable evening for the lucky crowd at Rod Laver Arena and for the entire tennis world, pushing each other to the limit and standing side by side from start to finish.
The Australian revealed that he played with a torn calf, still giving his 120% in front of home fans but finishing on the losing side despite being two steps away from a colossal victory. The Swiss clinched the final six points in the decisive 8-4 tiebreaker against to avoid an early exit and stay on track for the title after one of the tournament's most memorable encounters in the past decade.
The players threw everything they had at each other, and Federer hit more winners and mistakes. Millman kept in touch with the well-balanced game and a positive mindset, making the most of the support of the crowd and enjoying every moment on the court.
Rebounding from two sets to one down, John forced a decider and had a great chance to seal the deal and topple the 20-time Major winner before Roger stepped in with his best tennis to secure the 100th Australian Open win.
With 73% service, Millman lost just eight points on serve in the first game, breaking and throwing two to build the lead. Federer was the most aggressive player, but it was not enough to give him the advantage, adding too many errors and not finding a way to break the opponent's rhythm or move him away from the comfort zone.
Roger lost five points in his games in set number two, and the Australian fended off a break opportunity at 5-5 with a service winner to reach a tiebreaker. Federer held ropes in his hands to win 7-2 with some powerful shots, securing the set with a perfect winning volley in the ninth point to level the overall score at 1-1.
Roger was also confident in his service games in set number three, turning in five good at-bats and challenging John to repeat that.
Federer is involved in numerous philanthropic activities
Roger Federer has become the latest high-profile tennis personality to come forward in expressing concern over the safety and well-being of China's Peng Shuai.
"I hope she's fine," Federer said. "We are all united around her. The tennis tour is my second family. I have been on the pro tour for 20-25 years so I am connected to every ATP and WTA player." Organizers of the Wimbledon Championships, where Peng is a former doubles champion, also released an official statement.
"We are united with the rest of tennis in the need to understand that Peng Shuai is safe," the statement read. "We have been working in support of the WTA’s efforts to establish her safety through our relationships behind the scenes.
Along with the global tennis community," it continued, "We would like Peng Shuai to know that her well-being is of the utmost importance to us, and we will continue to work to gain clarity on her safety."