Roger Federer moves ahead of Hewitt and Verdasco as ultimate marathon man



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Roger Federer moves ahead of Hewitt and Verdasco as ultimate marathon man

Embracing his 21st Australian Open, the 38-year-old Roger Federer showed once again why he claimed six titles at Melbourne Park, passing five obstacles to reach the semi-final as one of the oldest players at Majors in the Open era.

As many times before, Roger grabbed other records as well, becoming the first player with 15 semi-finals in Melbourne and at Majors in general, improving his tally to 102 wins at Melbourne Park and delivering two incredible victories over John Millman and Tennys Sandgren to add more memorable moments to his already incredibly rich Grand Slam photo album.

Entering the event with 45 five-setter Major wins, Roger shared the Open era record with the other two warriors Lleyton Hewitt and Fernando Verdasco, leaving them behind to stand alone on this record reserved for the ultimate marathon men.

Following those encounters with Millman and Sandgren, Roger has now played 47 five-setters at Majors, embracing the first one at Wimbledon 1999 and battling against various opponents at every stage of four most significant tournaments, winning some and losing some as well to write one of the most colorful Major stories ever that led him towards 20 titles from 31 finals.

In the third round, Federer toppled the home star John Millman 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 after hour hours and three minutes of an epic battle that kept the crowd on the Rod Laver Arena on the edge of their seats all the time.

Millman gave his best to repeat what he did against Roger at the US Open 2018, taming his shots nicely and bouncing back from two sets to one down to force a decider where he had a massive chance of bringing the victory home, leading 8-4 in the match tie break.

With no room for errors, Roger rattled off six straight points to cross the finish line first, staying in the event and facing an even bigger obstacle test two rounds later against Tennys Sandgren. In another five-setter that kept the tennis world and Federer fans on the verge of a breakdown, Roger saved seven match points overall in the tenth game of the fourth set and again at 3-6 in the tie break, performing one of his most spectacular comebacks in a career despite a terrible performance in sets two and three and ongoing groin pain that almost sent him out from the event.

Federer survived all that to secure the 30th victory on the 47th five-setter at Majors, staying in the title chase before losing to Novak Djokovic in the semis in straight sets.