MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Roger Federer looked defeat full in the face before rallying in the 10-point tiebreaker to edge local battler John Millman in a five-set thriller on Friday night and reach the last 16 of the Australian Open.
It was Federer’s 100th victory at Melbourne Park and few of them can have been as hard as the four-hour, 4-6 7-6(2) 6-4 4-6 7-6(8) epic he shared with the teak tough world number 47 on Rod Laver Arena.
The 20-times Grand Slam champion made an extraordinary 82 unforced errors to go with 62 winners in a contest that was decided by the extended tiebreak introduced to prevent even longer contests.
Even that was not straightforward for Federer.
The apparently indefatigable Millman held leads of 5-2 and 8-4 on the back of some brilliant tennis, forcing 38-year-old Federer to rattle off five straight points before securing the victory with a crosscourt forehand winner.
“Thank God it was a super tiebreaker or I would have lost that one. John played a great…
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