Australian OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Federer Finishes Fast To Fend Off Fucsovics in Australian Open Fourth Round

The Swiss overcame a slow start to progress 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 into the last eight in Melbourne.

Roger Federer is into his fifteenth Australian Open quarter-final after shaking off a slow start to defeat Marton Fucsovics 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena.

The Swiss was coming into the match off the back of a four-hour match that ended with a final-set tie-break against John Millman, and he showed signs of sluggishness early doors.

However, the six-time champion regrouped and got to grips with the slow conditions to capitalise on Fucsovics's level dropping to coast through in 2 hours and 11 minutes.

Federer will next face Tennys Sandgren who fought past Fabio Fognini 7-6(5), 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-4 in three hours and 27 minutes.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Ao 4r 2020

Fucsovics won the toss and elected to receive. Roger started proceedings with a hold to thirty before the Hungarian matched him to level at 1-1.

A quick hold from Roger moved him up 2-1, and a well-worked point created thirty all in his next return game, but Fucsovics held for 2-2.

That pattern repeated itself as Fucsovics held again from thirty all for 3-3, but in the next game he opened up a 0-40 window. Federer saved two of the break chances with some well-worked points, but the third saw him dragged out wide on a forehand that he could only squash shot into the net.

Fucsovics consolidated the break to love for a 5-3 lead before Roger forced him to serve out the set with a hold to thirty. The former Wimbledon Junior Champion obliged, topping off an impressive set with a comfortable hold to take it 6-4.

With heavy conditions and Federer's serve below average on the speed gun, he needed to find something extra in set two to avoid the match getting away from him.

A love hold got the ball rolling, and a somewhat donated break of serve put the Swiss 2-0 in front. 

Consolidating wasn't without problems, but Roger did just enough to get on the front foot to hold for a 3-0 lead.

Game five kicked off with three ridiculous gets at the net from Federer, but after playing a patient point to avert 15-40, a missed forehand gave Fucsovics break back point. Roger saved it and used the serve + forehand combo to hold for 4-1.

The Swiss then found himself 5-1 in front, taking advantage of some less precise serving from Fucsovics and he went on to take the set 6-1.

With momentum on Federer's side, he quickly created 15-40 thanks to a drive backhand down the line then a deft slice. Fucsovics saved the first but then played a disaster of a drop shot when on top in the rally to drop serve.

Roger consolidated to take a 2-0 lead and like set two, and he was able to land the double break as Fucsovics looked deflated.

With Fucsvovics realising he had to dig in to stay in the match, he played some tighter points to create 15-40. A slightly soft backhand spurned the first which allowed Federer to get back on the money to lead 4-0.

A rather lackadaisical game from Federer allowed Fucsovics to hold for 1-4 and he paid the price for slacking off, losing his serve to give the Hungarian a sniff at getting back into the set.

Fortunately for Roger, Fucsvocics was equally as cavalier, making a handful of errors as he dropped serve again for 2-5. Roger served it out to take it 6-2 but had to fend off another breakpoint in the process.

Into set four and Fucsovics dropped serve immediately, undone by a net cord at 30-30. Roger consolidated the break to lead 2-0.

A speedy hold from Roger put the score at 3-1, and the Swiss again had chances to secure a double break but couldn't convert his two chances.

Another routine hold put the score at 4-2, and in game seven Roger got the double break, coming up with a beautiful pass for 15-30 and capping an impressive hawkeye day by stopping play to challenge for a 5-2 lead successfully.

Roger then served it out in the next game, coming through a deuce game to book his spot in the Quarter Finals.

Match Stats

Aus Open 4R 2020 Marton Fucsovics Roger Federer
Aces 1 5
Double faults 1 0
1st serve in 47% (42/89) 61% (63/103)
Win 1st serve 57% (24/42) 76% (48/63)
Win 2nd serve 53% (25/47) 53% (2/40)
Breakpoints won 22% (2/9) 58% (7/12)
Net points won 36% (8/22) 84% (31/37)
Receiving points won 33% (34/103) 44% (39/89)
Winners 15 44
Return winners 0 1
Unforced errors 35 36
Return unforced errors 0 3
Total points won 83 109
Fastest serve 193 km/h 200 km/h
1st Serve Average 184 km/h 178 km/h
2nd serve average 152 km/h 151 km/h

Highlights

On Court Interview

Press Conference

Thoughts on the Match

Fed Fucs Ao 2020

It was a tough start, I thought Marton played clean. I guess it was the rest of the Millman match, that guy gave me a beatdown from the baseline, so maybe it took my confidence away a little bit and I think it just took some time. I was looking to mix it up a little bit more. It gets really slow in the night time, especially when it is cool like this, so I just had to figure it out and I finally found a way, I had a good start to the second set and from then on, things got a little bit easier. Federer speaking to McEnroe in the on court interview.

A top quality win here for Roger, and while it took him a while to get going, once he had the blood pumping, then he played nicely and had far too much in the locker for Fucsovics.

On Twitter, I likened him to a Rolls Royce Jet Engine that needed spooling up in the first set, but once stabilised it was time to apply take-off thrust in set two, enter the cruise in set three and then safely land in set four. And that's pretty much how it panned out 🙂

I thought Fucsovics started very well with some crisp hitting off both wings but when the conditions became even cooler that slowed the ball down immensely and in some ways favoured Federer.

While it made free points hard to come by which makes his 1 + 2 punch less effective, it allowed him to mix it up more, work the angles and bring in the slice and shorter balls to get Fucsovics off his rhythm. 

The Hungarian is an excellent mover, but he's more predictable than Millman in his play and never really comes up with anything too out of the norm. That meant Roger was able to get in a groove, anticipate more and build confidence from the baseline.

In that second set, you sense he had a better feel of when to go big on the groundstrokes or spin them in or land them short. Federer also seemed to handle how quickly the balls fluff up the better of the two, changing tact when they were no longer quick through the air. In contrast, Fucsovics was continually berating his racquet and string tension, and that appeared to take his mind off the task at hand.

Stats wise it is all pretty good with seven breaks of serves and some of the volleys he dug up were out of this world. The other big one, and maybe a career first, is Fed was 100% on Hawkeye challenges, four from 4 💥 .

Predictions vs Tennys Sandgren

Fed Ao Fluffy Ball

Next up is one of the earliest victims of cancel culture, Tennys Sandgren, who made his second Quarter Final at the Australian Open by defeating Fabio Fognini in four sets.

It's fair to say Sandgren has come a long way since he lost to the Snickers eating Marcus Willis in a challenger a few years ago 😆 and he's now got five wins against Top 20 opposition at Grand Slams.

Federer has never played the American so it should be an exciting matchup as he's a no-nonsense player who goes for his shots and won't die wondering out there. 

I'm a big fan of how he goes about his tennis as he's a brilliant athlete, has a decent serve + forehand and I like his career progression.

He also comes across a very level headed guy in the press despite what you might read on Twitter from woke fans who couldn't articulate why they ‘hate' him even if their lives depended on it.

I'm unsure if Roger has even practised with him before, but I doubt it, so it's all completely new for him on Tuesday. The same goes for Sandgren who will never have faced anyone with Federer's bag of tricks, so I am intrigued to see how it plays out.

I'm not sure if I prefer a day match in quicker conditions where the key for Federer would be his serve. Or another night match where he can look to mix it up and see if Sandgren can handle all his spins and slices. Maybe the latter as Sandgren will never have played a night match in Melbourne before, but I have a feeling it will be a day match.

What did you guys think of the win against Fucsovics? Predictions against Sandgren? Let me know in the comments.

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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69 Comments

    1. Day session it is.
      Let’s hope Roger serves better today.
      In the US Open he had much better performences on the day sessions. I hope it happens in AO as well.

      Jonathan, you really outdone yourself with this title. 🙂

  1. Felt like Fed played within himself a bit tonight and saved quite a bit of energy due to how easy the last 3 sets were. I imagine he’ll feel fresher on Tuesday after another days rest too. But my god conditions look so slow in the evening and the balls seem to fluff up loads after a game. I wouldn’t mind a day match as if he wins then it gives him a little more rest for the Djokovic semi. I feel like he’s got another gear he can hit if he needs it… hopefully he doesn’t need it till Thursday 😅

  2. Good job Roger! After the match, Roger said “I played a lot of tennis in my life, but never against Tennys.” Hope he will prevail!

  3. After the first set I thought oh no, here we go again, my nerves can’t handle this, two matches in a row! Then things started to clic, heart rate returns to normal, and a fun match to watch gets underway with some jaw dropping shots by both guys but especially Roger. I chuckled at your comment Jonathan about Roger and Hawkeye as I was thinking the same thing. Every time he challenges (usually) I close my eyes and pray and (usually) to no avail 😂 Also enjoyed his on court interview, prefer Courier conducting though.
    Backing up a bit, anyone else on this site mentioning Hewitt coaching Millman during the last match?

    1. Yes, it has been mentioned. Disappointing. And Millman rubbing the ball on his sweaty shirt before serve. Surprised the ump didn’t say a word but then they are in Oz.

  4. So glad this was an easier game for Fed. Loved the end of his on-court interview. A match in warmer weather may be good as long as the temps are not too high. Perhaps he has finally now also mastered the skill of challenging? Loved that he got it right!

  5. Pretty vanilla match. Will take it. For sure. I am hoping that he will be too much for Sandgren. I think Fed will be ready and would be surprised if it goes beyond 4 sets.

  6. A potential Fed v Nole match would certainly be played at night. Given how Fed has struggled with night conditions so far I am liking his chances at all should he meet the serb.

  7. Yeah, the best stats of the day was 100% on Hawkeye challenges, the career first as you say? We were all panicking on the chat, “what’s going on?? the end of the world?” 😆 Glad it wasn’t a taxing match and he played well.
    Fucsovics said that the condition was totally different from the day and changed even more (cooler and slower) from the 2nd set. Then Fed started mixing up the shots so that he couldn’t handle it.

  8. Good win as expected. Next round should be another easy one which unfortunately doesn’t prepare him well to meet the in form Djokovic. But on slow courts and cooler conditions, nothing to look past the semis anyway. Good tournament so far anyway, could have ended in the third round.

  9. When Marton found himself leading 1 set zero, neither his body language or game play stated “I want to win this match and I will, even if I have to fight until chicken grow teeth.”
    As for Tennys, I don’t think he has the skill to handle Fed’s shuffle’n’deal. But a bad day at the office can happen at any time.
    And, please, the book of cheap jokes about Tennys’ name is already quite full. If we keep feeding this, his son Socker Sandgreen will be bullied all his life as, you guessed it, swimmer. OK, I’m going.

  10. Agree with you, Jonathan. Once up and running, Roger’s play was dazzling, though gifted Marton a few more BPs in the third set. Overall, an excellent match, thought his start was slow. Although Sandgren is kind of guys going for his shots, he also makes tons of UFEs. I feel that Roger should be able to handle him.
    Allez!

  11. Interesting point about Roger adjusting better to conditions that changed constantly throughout the match, especially with how long balls had been in use. Seems like these balls vary more from “new balls” to the next “new balls” than what we’re used to.

  12. Overall a much better match. Woke up to find that Roger had lost the first set, but I wasn’t going to panic just yet. Weirdly I actually dreamed just before I woke up about checking the score and thought it had said he lost in straight sets. The dream was realistic to the point I thought it was real, so I literally checked my phone assuming he’d lost because I thought I’d already checked it. Was one of those dreams within a dream.

    Anyway, from the second set onwards Roger looked a lot stronger than against Millman, still not perfect but perhaps 7 /10 or 8/10 as opposed to 5/10, and I think he’s got a great chance vs Sandgren in the QF. If he gets that far it’s semifinals probably against Novak, and whatever happens happens. If Roger makes the semis then as far as I’m concerned it’s a good tournament, and I’ll be able to watch the semi with no expectations. Weirdly I find it easier to watch Roger’s matches in the later rounds, because he’s now something of an underdog in those matches so I’m hardly ever disappointed if he loses.

  13. I was a bit concerned after he’d lost the first set, and went out thinking that he ideally needed to turn the match round and win the next couple of sets 6-1, 6-2 – and lo and behold! Incidentally, right at the end of the preceding ladies’ match the radio commies were saying how bad the wind was, and slowing the match down, and the men’s match started not long after. Had the wind died down by then? There’s no mention of it.

    Jon, I really think you ought to add to the stats table the 4/4 100% Hawkeye challenges. That sort of thing should be recorded for posterity, because it’s never likely to happen again 🙂

      1. I wouldn’t grunt.

        Not at all.

        I would just collapse in fear and then run in terror out of the stadium if any of these players shot balls at me that fast.

  14. Great match…happy Rog is able to adapt to slow condition. A bit surprised Fucs wasnt able to adjust his game, maybe sudden change from day to night plays a bit factor. This is where Roger, Rafa and Djoker are able to adapt and continues to rack GS wins. It will be an interesting match against Sandgren, day time and conditions will be faster.

  15. Yes,well done Stan.What a champ.
    As for Fed,wishing him all the best as ever,but don’t want him to have to play Stan,if that is how the draw goes and they both win.
    Sascha and Thiem still in there,which is good.

  16. Kyrgios could have got Nadal today, he just played some mind numbering points ( in particular a terrible drop shot) in the final set tiebreaker. He did well to break Nadal who was serving for it . Nadal lis looking good but beatable by someone with more mental strength. I think Thiem could give him a run too, even though he can’t win cheap points like Kyrgios, he is far more solid off the baseline.

    Nice job Stan! Although I was counting on Medvedev to deal with Nadal in the semis (!) Maybe Wawrinka can find that 2014 form.

  17. Great write up, and v good win considering the previous match. Never panicked post 1st, just got the body going and pushed his way thru it.
    Wld like to see some better serving and fewer UFEs as we get to business end but hoping he will up the gears as he needs to. Tennys plays pretty similar to Millman, v quick hands on the FH, and a fast arm all round. Hoping Fed can slice him a lot and draw him in as he does seem slightly averse to the net. See you at 3.30am.

    Ps hoping Milos can at least keep Novak out there just a bit… nothing to lose as everyone expecting to be absolutely steam-rollered

  18. Watched the Stan Med match. So hard to put the ball away. Medvedev kept the ball in play over and over. Stan held his nerve and played better and better.
    Delpo having more surgery. Apparently, can’t even go up the stairs without pain. Seems like it’s time to pack it in.
    Please Raonic, lets see an epic upset. Djoker gets no attention, does he…tee hee.
    Yea! Day session match, I can watch 8pm my time. Fed in three? Dusty pink shorts and white shirt please.

  19. What a match! After he’d already pulled off one great escape this tournament! Don’t know quite how he did it but he did. If he can recover physically, I think he takes the title even if he has to do the Djokovic-Nadal double.

    Sleep well tonight, Roger, you’ve earned it!

  20. Pulling off Houdini in a tournament, I can understand (and my heart can still sustain that)
    but 2?

    Maybe I should bring AED kit next to my desk at the office.

  21. In a way this is similar to hardships in AO 2017, maybe just a bit harder vs more low-seeded, but very strong opponents. Champion come on – rest and recover and prevail again

    1. After losing three consecutive five-setters post-AO ’18, he wins two in this tournament, coming back from a seemingly hopeless position. That extra little spark of confidence seems to be back.

      I think this is the first time he’s ever saved seven MPs in one GS match and come back to win! IIRC he did so in USO ’14 and Wimbledon ’16, but he merely saved two against Monfils and three against Cilic–a bare pittance compared to today.

  22. Ugh! Woke up at 7.15 this morning and decided not to put the radio on to hear what was happening. Very glad I didn’t – I don’t think I could have stood it after the Millman match!

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