The 20-time Major champion Roger Federer has stayed on the course of another notable title in Melbourne but only just, prevailing against the home hero John Millman in the deciding set tie break after four hours and three minutes.
The Swiss maestro required all the knowledge and experience to outplay the Aussie who played at 120% to stay in touch all the time, leading 8-4 in the deciding match tie break and just making to take that last step and stun Federer just like he did at the US Open 2018.
Making too many unforced errors, Roger couldn't shift into a higher gear and make the decisive move towards the victory, having to dig deep in the closing minutes to repel John's charge and cross the finish line first.
Struggling with his groundstrokes, Federer had to focus on his serve, trying to find the solution on the return and create more chances that could have made his day at the office more relaxed. Also, Federer praised the crowd that cheered for both players, thanking all of them as he knew there's a home player on the other side of the net, who also deserved to score a win after such a tremendous fighting spirit.
"I had to figure out the way how to get him in trouble on his serve; he is not known to be the best server; he has a good serve but it is not like with the tall guys. He was doing such a nice job of not making many mistakes while I was struggling with crosscourt shots from both wings.
For me, it was a matter of holding my own serve, giving myself time and chances to figure out what to do on the return. It was big to win that second set and moved in front in the third; I never really felt comfortable and John did his best to keep me on my back foot, not allowing me to step in until that last shot when he picked the wrong side.
John really made it difficult for me tonight. It was nice to see split crowd; John deserves all the support after such a great comeback from injuries and the fans gave me more than they had to. I appreciate those who came for the first time and those who are always with me, and it was all good if they were cheering for John as well."