With his fightback at Australia Open, Federer is the first singles player to win 100 matches in two Grand Slams
Roger Federer is not just a sporting legend. He is a human story and an inspiration for everybody because he has demonstrated true grit that survival requires in our times, surprising us every time when we feel he has just gone over the hill. And at a time when individual power sports is all about burnouts, Federer has crafted lastability as a credo despite the competition and overcome challenge from millennials. He has produced several great performances over the years. One of those performances came in the match against Australia’s John Millman during the third at the Australian Open 2020 on Friday where the former world number one was looking down and out in the fifth-set super tie-breaker after falling behind with the score of 8-4. However, he showed why he has won 20 Grand Slams in his career by picking up six consecutive points and cementing his spot in the fourth-round at the first Grand Slam of the year. And he did it in a thrilling match that began Friday night in Melbourne and ended after midnight Saturday. Who cares if he is 38 years old when he keeps finding new ways to redefine his greatness?
Unlike other tournaments — such as Wimbledon and the US Open, which play first-to-seven in a tiebreaker — the Australian Open has a first-to-10 format, and Federer fell behind 8-4 early on. So imagine the kind of rallying he had to do with six straight points to win the tiebreaker and the third-round match, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (10-8). With this, he has also become the first singles player to win 100 matches in two different Grand Slams; his Wimbledon 100 happened last year. In his post-match interview, Federer joked that when Millman had that huge lead in the tiebreaker and was two points away from taking the match, he was already preparing himself to offer excuses during his press conference for why he lost. Now we know how he didn’t let his doubts get the better of him. So tennis can still be an old man’s game. Just like life itself.
(Courtesy: The Pioneer)