Roger Federer survives five-set thriller with John Millman to reach Australian Open fourth round

Pippa Field
The Telegraph
Federer trailed 4-8 in the deciding tie-break - but won six points in a row to progress. - AFP
Federer trailed 4-8 in the deciding tie-break - but won six points in a row to progress. - AFP

A remarkable day of drama had a final flourish as Roger Federer escaped by the skin of his teeth in a five-set classic against Australia's John Millman.

Federer looked to have escaped the danger when he recovered from a set down to lead by two sets to one but 30-year-old Millman, who beat the great Swiss at the US Open in 2018, had other ideas.

In the biggest match so far to be decided by a first-to-10-point tie-break, Millman opened up an 8-4 lead only for Federer to win six points in a row and claim a 4-6 7-6 (2) 6-4 4-6 7-6 (8) victory.

The result also marked Federer's 100th victory at the Australian Open, matching the milestone he has achieved at Wimbledon.

He will now face Hungary's Marton Fucsovics in the fourth round.


That winning moment


Tennis Australia video marks 100 wins at Australian Open

Just goes to show how long Federer has been around that the early clips of his Australian Open career shows him playing on a green court! 


On the split support with Millman

I won't take it personal, don't worry about it. He deserves all the support, he's a great story for the game. 

I appreciate the support.


'I never really felt comfortable'

I had to figure out a way how to get him in trouble on his serve. He's got a good serve but he's not like the tall guys. But he wasn't making a lot of mistakes, I was struggling and he was dominating both sides.

It was big to win that second set. I never really felt comfortable. I couldn't really step in until the last shot...he picked the right side.

It was really John who made it so difficult for me tonight.


Jim Courier attempts to unpack the match with Federer...

Oh god, it was tough, thank god it was a super tie-breaker otherwise I would have lost this one!

John played a great match. He's a great fighter, a good guy, it came down to the wire at the end.

I had to stay so focused, take the right decision. He kept coming up with the goods in the breaker. I was getting ready to explain myself in the post-match press conference. The demons are always lurking.

What a match, John deserves half of this one.


Milestone win for Roger


GAME, SET, MATCH! Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (10-8) Millman* (*denotes next to serve) 

Federer, by the skin of his teeth, has found a way through. 

4-8 down in the champions tie-break, the six-time Aussie Open champion wins six points in a row to beat John Millman. The lob from the Australian going long at the end after four hours of tennis.


Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 6-6 Millman* (*denotes next to serve) - champions tie-break

Head in hands stuff! Millman had the chance for match point after scampering in on a Federer drop-shot but he puts it long. 8-8.

Federer, on serve, wins another point after Millman is forced to go long. Match point Federer.


*Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 6-6 Millman (*denotes next to serve) - champions tie-break 

Federer draws on all his experience and drags his opponent out of court with a lovely shot. 8-5 Millman.

Millman, on serve, resorts back to his tactic of going for Federer's forehand. Except this time he adds too much power and it's now 8-6 Millman. 

Oh boy, he's gone long again! Has he? He challenges it but it's out! 8-7 Millman.


*Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 6-6 Millman (*denotes next to serve) - champions tie-break 

Well done, Millman sir! The Australian is the aggressor, driving down the line after a energy-sapping rally and then coming in to volley at the net. 6-4 Millman.

Make that 7-4 after running on to the forehand side and passing Federer. And yet again he beats the six-time Aussie Open champion as Federer tries to close the angle. 8-4 Millman.


Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 6-6 Millman* (*denotes next to serve) - champions tie-break 

The lead edges out to 4-2 as Federer can't direct his backhand in. This crowd are torn over who to favour. This would be the shock to cap off a day of shocks in Melbourne!

Ace Millman! 5-2. 

Federer goes out wide with this serve and smashes away the winner. Down the line tactic works for him on the next as Millman eventually goes long. 5-4 Millman.


Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 6-6 Millman (*denotes next to serve) - champions tie-break 

Oh this is soooo tense! First to ten, here we go.

First point Millman. Hard-hitting at it's very best and Millman kisses the back of the line after switching to Federer's back hand. The net then aids the Aussie as his return tickles it and puts off Federer. 3-0 Millman. Federer serves out wide and Millman nets. Then Millman chucks in an error. 3-2 Millman


*Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 6-6 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

Millman gets himself into a strong position at 40-15. That becomes 40-30 when Millman misses with his winner attempt. Was that the crucial moment? Millman dumps into the net to bring up deuce but then down the line he goes again to Federer's forehand side and it works. He can't capitalise and back to deuce we go. Federer can't get on top of the rally and then Millman has another shot. A service winner! And we're into a champions tie-break! 



Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 6-5 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

Federer races into a 40-0 lead, helped by two aces. Millman throws in a forehand winner but it's only a temporary halt on the momentum this game as Federer wraps it up. Millman to serve to stay in this match. Whatever the outcome, it's been an incredible effort and show of consistent tennis from the Australian.


*Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 5-5 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

Millman with a backhand winner before a long rally falls the way of the Australian after the net cord diverts the ball off course. 30-0 quickly becomes 30-15 after an unforced error and then his forehand action seems to tense up as the ball sails straight into the net. Millman goes deep on the right side and Federer has to dig out a return which sails long and a big kick of his second serve seals the game.



Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 5-4 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

Ace and then double fault kicks the game off. Pretty much sums up Federer today. Millman then gasps as he runs in on a mid-court drop shot, he gets there but Federer can easily sweep up into the open court. Federer throws in another double fault and it's 30-30. Millman misses with his forehand before an ace brings a big roar from the crowd. 

Federer is one game away from the fourth round.

<span>Federer seeks victory</span> <span>Credit: REUTERS </span>
Federer seeks victory Credit: REUTERS


*Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 4-4 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

Millman misses with what should be an easy backhand and then he leaves the door ajar when he comes into the net, leaving Federer to hit a passing shot. Trouble brewing at 0-30...

Net cord...falls the way of Millman. The Australian, gripping the racket with all his might, unloads the double handed backhand amid continual grunts and Federer nets. 30-30. Federer then can't face the heat on the next two rallies and Millman survives.


Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 4-3 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

A glimmer of an opportunity for Millman? Two successive backhand errors make it 0-30. Millman appears to blink for 15-30 before the two trade baseline blows and Federer's return gets called long. Two break points. Saved!

First serve missed, but Millman cannot put away the second. Federer comes into the net on the next, the volley is too loose and bounces up but Millman cannot squeeze it over. Deuce. Big serve-volley move by Fed and it's advantage. He then flicks away a forehand winner, cool as you like. Wife Mirka, meanwhile, has her hands over her eyes.


*Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 3-3 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

Even at 40-0 up, Millman does not ease up, chasing what seems a lost cause to try and close out the game. He cannot quite get to Federer's drop-shot. But no matter, an ace gets it on the next.

This is really too close to call.

<span>Lleyton Hewitt watches on as Millman chases the win </span> <span>Credit: REX </span>
Lleyton Hewitt watches on as Millman chases the win Credit: REX


Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 3-2 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

How much will Millman regret not converting that game point as the time ticks past midnight in Melbourne?

Federer moves 40-15 up with an ace. But a double fault makes it 40-30 and an erratic backhand heads straight into the tramline for deuce. It's like Jekyll and Hyde with Federer this evening. 

Millman's forehand error brings up advantage and then Federer comes into the net and wins the point with a sharp volleyed drop-shot.


*Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 2-2 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

Tannoy announcement: Can the real Roger Federer find his way back to Rod Laver Arena before the end of this match?

0-15 up but then a shank wide and a shake of the head from this impersonator. He tries to force himself back into the zone but his backhand is off. Better off the Millman second serve, a one-handed down-the-line return which the Australian nets for 30-30. Ah yes, there's the real Federer, leaning into the forehand to rip it down the line for break point. Saved. Federer peppers the Millman backhand side and gets some joy. Second break point. Also saved. (pause in play for the removal of a moth off court). Long from Federer. Advantage Millman but into the net. Forehand winner Federer and third break point. Long from Millman!


Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 1-2 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

Obviously Federer lost in the fourth round here last year but his last third round exit came back in 2015 when he lost to Andreas Seppi to break his streak of eleven consecutive Australian Open semifinals appearances or better.

An ace brings things to 15-15 but then a double fault makes it 15-30 and a Millman backhand winner brings up two break points.

Millman baulks at the first but Federer goes long on the second! Millman breaks the six-time champion in the fifth!


*Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 1-1 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

Maybe the leaky shoes were putting off Millman on serve as suddenly he's finding his range again, throwing in an ace for good measure. An equally comfortable hold.


Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

Millman had to change his shoes between sets there as they were 'leaking', presumably sweat...

Federer races into a 40-0  lead on his serve and a forehand winner aside from Millman, is untroubled in holding.


Heading for a decider

Well then. Millman has hung on in there and got his rewards. I mean, quite a lot of those rewards, have come courtesy of errors from Federer's racket (60 in total to Millman's 35) but the Australian has been the one putting the pressure on too.

Having missed eating my breakfast for the Gauff-Osaka match, I'm looking forward to a breakfast-lunch double header when this one eventually does finish...

<span>Millmania! </span> <span>Credit: AP </span>
Millmania! Credit: AP


*Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 4-6 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

Millman obviously expects to be hanging around a bit longer in this match, he's just told the umpire there is bird droppings near his seat and wants them removed. Meanwhile he trots to the baseline to serve for the set.

A gift from Federer's malfunctioning backhand on the first before Millman churns out a point off his second serve (that's 62 per cent of points won on second serve) and then another error brings up three set points. Nothing in return from Federer and that's the fourth set to Millman. We're into a decider.


Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 4-5 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

One minute you think the momentum is with one player, the next they contrive to hand the advantage back to their opponent through errors. Two forehand winners take Federer to 30-15 but he seems to misjudge a Millman cross-court return, only just gets there and the Australian sends a backhand winner down the line with his opponent out of position

Millman tries to force the issue on the next but thankfully for him, his opponent returns the favour with an error for deuce. The real Federer returns to the court with a forehand winner followed by an ace.



*Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 3-5 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

Millman must consolidate this break now. Not like that he won't, as his first serve goes missing and he finds himself 0-30 down. Another slower second serve on the third but Federer contrives to send his return down the line long with Millman comfortably beaten. Another second serve but he gets himself into the baseline exchange and Federer again goes long. 30-30. Federer opts for the wrong shot and he drags his forehand wide. And then, off another second serve, Federer cannot find the line. 


Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 3-4 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

The crowd is being treated late on here. Toe-to-toe as Millman scampers after a Federer return and forces the Swiss to get a motor on too. He gets there but the return is into the net for 30-30. Crucial moment in the game and the match as he then brings up break point when Federer's forehand fails to function.

The two trade baseline blows before seeking the angles but Millman is the better tactician and Federer is unable to return.

<span>Deep into the night in Melbourne</span> <span>Credit: REUTERS </span>
Deep into the night in Melbourne Credit: REUTERS


*Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 3-3 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

Federer nudges ahead before that pesky unforced error demon rears his head again with a wild forehand wide. Millman is then left asking himself 'what is that?' with an ugly shot before two big serves do the trick for him for 40-30. Federer, on the run, sends his cross-court forehand long.


Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 3-2 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

At 40-15 up in that previous game, you would have said it was curtains for the night if Millman hadn't held. 

He's holding on in on this game, a rip-roaring sequence of double handed backhands drawing approvals from the crowd at 15-30. Problem is, Federer has a destructive backhand of his own and he finishes off the game with a missile down the line.

The clock ticks past 2.5 hours on this match. Certainly feels like it, too.


*Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 2-2 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

Slow-motion cameras were designed for Federer backhands weren't they? A lovely little replay of a winner down the line for 15-15. His forehand shot on the next rally...not so good. A Hewitt-esque lob judged to perfection from Millman has Federer on his heels and watching on in vain. But Millman goes long on the next for 40-30 before he calls for a ball-kid to come wipe away some sweat on the court near his feet. The delay seems to hurt him as Federer wins the next point for deuce. Millman gets the advantage but can't, ahem, take advantage. 

The second one is not wasted though as a staggering cross-court passing shot levels matters up. It produces a arm-pumping celebration.


Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 2-1 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

It's like the crowd don't really know what to do. Cheer their home star in Millman or the much-worshipped Federer? It sounds like the claps are slightly louder for Federer to be fair. The six-time looking a little more comfortable now with the set lead and he wraps up another hold.


*Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 1-1 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

At 15-30 down it is looking a little dicey for Millman. But he hangs on in there, drawing a error from Federer for parity and then pushing on through. It draws a fist pump from Lleyton Hewitt watching in Millman's box.


Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 1-0 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

A couple of handy aces aids Federer in the opening game of the fourth set. A brilliant forehand on the run drags it back to deuce but Millman cannot get onto a walloping cross-court rocket from Federer. The signs of frustration for Millman demonstrated in the frantic head shaking. 


Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

A welcome ace to start for Millman. Federer then at his best with a forehand down the line back in behind Millman. Unforced error number 43 (!!) from Federer makes it 30-15 and then the six-time champion is wayward on the next. Federer's drop-shot is too good for Millman, as is that backhand. Oh dear, not the time to chuck in a double fault to bring up set point Federer.

An ace rescues him but there is no beating Federer at the net, the 38-year-old making himself seem like a giant to stop any passing attempt. Second set point.  He doesn't let this one go, playing the ball back at Millman and eventually forcing a mistake when the Australian goes long.

It's far from vintage Federer but he is gradually getting the job done.

<span>Federer takes a 2-1 lead</span> <span>Credit: AFP </span>
Federer takes a 2-1 lead Credit: AFP


Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) 5-4 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

These two keeping the line judges on their toes with deliveries right on the edge of legal. Federer floats in a slower shot and it catches Millman out for 30-0. A Millman backhand looks long to Federer who challenges but it has kissed the back edge of the line.

A strong serve brings up 40-15 before Federer comes in to the net and Millman's effort drifts wide.

<span>Tense times</span> <span>Credit: GETTY IMAGES </span>
Tense times Credit: GETTY IMAGES


*Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) 4-4 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

Has Millman hit the self-destruct button? At 30-30 and trading shots off the baseline, he goes long with a relatively straight forward forehand to bring up break point Federer.

Now that's guts as the Australian keeps the faith and trusts his forehand to deliver on the next rally. The increasing effort levels can be heard in the audible groans as Millman runs across the baseline, while there is hardly a whimper out of Federer. But it is the Australian who delivers with a sublime backhand winner and then forces Federer into a mistake on the next. Crucial hold in the context of the set, and the entire match.


Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) 4-3 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

No break points yet in this set. Millman is chatting away to himself between points, frustration etched across his face. You sense he needs to take advantage of these Federer errors now or never.

When Federer nets for 40-30, there is a glimmer of light but the Swiss player sends down a big serve which is too good for Millman.


*Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) 3-3 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

Federer gets his opponent on the run for 15-15 but Millman hangs on in there, firing in the return at Federer's feet on one occasion. Another Federer return goes long and we're all square again.


Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) 3-2 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

Federer's legs pumping at quite the rate, left to right, right to left. Millman elects to come in off the baseline and bring a successful end to matters. He can't make the pass on the second though when Federer narrows the angle. 

Aussie-accented groans of 'nooooo' from Millman when he goes wide on his forehand and Federer cleans up the game. No break of serves yet in this set. Millman refusing to go away, Federer grinding it out in spite of the errors.


*Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) 2-2 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

A couple of gimmies for Federer in this game as first Millman double faults and then the net cord favours the Swiss, prompting calls of 'sorry John' from Federer. The Australian holds up his end of the bargain though and a backhand down the line makes it 40-30. Deuce follows after he nets. 

Long off the Federer forehand (that's 38 unforced errors for the match). And then he's unable to return the serve.


Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) 2-1 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

Deft touch by Federer as he pushes his opponent deep in the court before cutting the rally short with a drop shot for 30-0. Not such smoothness on the next two and he's off target with a backhand before the next attempted drop shot fails to make it over the net. 

But two big serves dig him out of any trouble. 

<span>Crucial times for Federer</span> <span>Credit: GETTY IMAGES </span>
Crucial times for Federer Credit: GETTY IMAGES


*Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) 1-1 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

Audible apologies from Federer as he keeps his opponent waiting while he changes his racket. He wins the first point courtesy of a forehand error from Millman. But the Australian is seeing the ball as big as a beachball it seems and maintains his focus, including a formible backhand cross-court winner. 


Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) 1-0 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

What has Millman got left after that second set? A slight glimpse at 30-30 but Federer moves his opponent around the court, always in control, and closes out the game. 

He goes ahead for the first time in the match.


Level pegging in this match

There were even more unforced errors in the second set by Federer than the first. But a first serve win percentage of 86 per cent kept him in control on serve. And while he didn't muster a break point, he showed all his experience in that tie-break to move through the gears. 


Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

Millman wins off his serve but then misfires off the next two points. And when Federer switches and goes down the line on the next he gets the mini break at 3-1. Oh so close! Federer moves forward to try and close off the rally but his smash is straight at Millman who nearly bats it back. Millman is on the run again with a lob but this time Federer is more authoritative with the smash for 5-1 and wife Mirka is on her feet applauding. Millman misjudges the Federer second serve and it is five set points for the six-time champion. He gets it on the second, with a touch volley at close quarters.


Federer 4-6, 6-6 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

Clumsy opening shot from Millman. But then it's followed up by a ugly serve volley attempt from Federer. Millman responds with two wayward forehands for 40-15. The six-time champion covers the court superbly, with a half-volley and then a much more authoritative volley for the game. Tie-break time.


*Federer 4-6, 5-6 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

Federer tries to cut the rally short with a drop shot but Millman, grunting, reaches it and flicks it down the line whereby Federer can only return long. An eighth point in a row on serve as Federer misses on the return for 30-0.

Ah. Writer's curse. A double fault followed by a backhand wide. Federer pushes Millman deep and lands a return right on the line which the Australian is unable to return. Break point. Federer pats back a slightly lacking serve but it is long. 

Millman swinging his forehand with all his might, daring to take on the great Federer's own forehand. Brave but effective this time. A serve out wide sets up a winning point for the hold. 

<span>Millman pushes on against Federer</span> <span>Credit: GETTY IMAGES </span>
Millman pushes on against Federer Credit: GETTY IMAGES


Federer 4-6, 5-5 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

Don't back Federer into a corner. Serving for the set, he holds to love. His second love service game of the match.


*Federer 4-6, 4-5 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

A couple of slightly worried looking faces among Federer's team. He's hit more winners but the unforced error count has crept up to 26. There's another one when he applies too much on a return. 

Millman channels his inner Nadal with a forceful forehand from the middle of the court. It's too forceful for Fed too, who is unable to return. A hold to love for the Australian and Federer must serve to stay in this set.


Federer 4-6, 4-4 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

Right then, business end of the set arriving shortly. Who's going to blink first? 

Just four points lost on serve this set for Federer. Actually make that five as Federer rushes in to the net and Millman responds with a beautiful lob off his backhand. There's time for a smile and shake of the finger to the Millman box. 30-15.

Federer closes it out though. 


*Federer 4-6, 3-4 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

The shocks continue today in Melbourne as Raonic beats topples sixth seed Tsitsipas in straight sets. I know a long way to go but if Millman was to keep this up, it would very much be Freaky Friday!

It's another point-packed game at 30-30 when Millman double faults. But Federer nets at the wrong moment.


Federer 4-6, 3-3 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

Federer nips into a 30-0 lead courtesy of a Millman backhand error and then an ace. Two unforced errors from Swiss player threatens to open the door but Millman cannot rip it open as his backhand fails him.


*Federer 4-6, 2-3 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

Two high quality points. First Millman fires down a fine forehand winner before Federer glides into the net, and caresses a volley just over the net. No chance for Millman. The Australian nudges ahead once more but then Federer draws his man in, and plants the killer touch with a flowing backhanded passing shot. Federer challenges a wide call immediately but that is a waste of a review - you could have driven a bus down that gap as my nan might say. 

Another lost review but this time Millman had a better shout after trying to lob Federer after picking up a volley. Deuce. And quickly game thanks to some on point serving.


Federer 4-6, 2-2 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

Solid serving from Federer as he draws the mistakes out of Millman to take an easy game. We're rattling through this second set.


*Federer 4-6, 1-2 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

For someone 38 years young, Federer shows off his nifty footwork at the net when Millman runs in and digs out a lob but Federer reaches and responds with a forehand winner for 15-30. Two aces ensures that's all the look-in Federer gets.

Meanwhile, one of the shock-makers today, Coco Gauff, is still getting her head around things.


Federer 4-6, 1-1 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

Federer's backhand holding up better in this game as he overcomes an early double fault to grind out the points for the hold.


*Federer 4-6, 0-1 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

When Millman won their US Open fourth round encounter in 2018, it was actually Federer who won the first set 6-3 before losing in four.

An encouraging start to this set leaves Federer 0-30 up but then the unforced errors come back and it's quickly 30-30. Two aces wrap up the game for Millman.


First set to Millman


Federer 4-6 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

Not often you see Federer swinging at air. Millman arrows a forehand deep into the corner and Federer cannot reach it. Another into the net and it's 0-30. Double fault Federer! And three set points Millman! 

He goes for the ace down the line and misses. Into the rally now and would you believe it? Federer has dumped his return into the net! The six-time champ loses the first set. 

<span>Hello, what's this?</span> <span>Credit: AFP </span>
Hello, what's this? Credit: AFP


*Federer 4-5 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

Masterful from Federer. Defends the serve and then fires over a cross-court forehand which drags Millman out of position. The Australian scampers over the other side but can only hit into the net. Federer follows it with a passing shot for 0-30. Millman's first serve has malfunctioned in this game. He then puts too much on his forehand and it's three break points Federer.

He just needs two. Long on the first but a winner down the line seals the deal on the second. Back on serve.


Federer 3-5 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

Ace + forehand winner = 30-0. Another tricky serve fails to come back from Millman. And then Federer bookends the game with another ace. 

Right Millman, time to serve for the set.


*Federer 2-5 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

Millman just needs to hold his serve to win the set... nothing is that simple, especially against Federer, surely? Well usually it isn't, but when Fed-dog is chucking in errors left, right and centre to leave Millman a simple hold to love, it is. 10 unforced errors so far off the Federer racket. 


Federer 2-4 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

Too loose from Federer. He comes into the net and only volleys into the mid court leaving Millman the chance to put away down the line. A couple of aces brings him back control. A clenched fist from the Swiss maestro.

<span>Game face</span> <span>Credit: GETTY IMAGES </span>
Game face Credit: GETTY IMAGES


*Federer 1-4 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

Federer threatening to hit straight back as he races to 0-30 but then two big serves help dig out the Australian. Millman pushes his next shot shot out though and it's break point Federer. Millman draws up the defences before then spraying a powerful forehand into the open court. Federer loose with the forehand followed by a Millman ace. Always a great feeling to wrap up a game in that way IMO. 


Federer 1-3 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

Moody skies above Rod Laver Arena. And the Fed-man won't be happy either as a a couple of errors suddenly bring up break point Millman at 30-40. The first serve is missed but on the second he darts into the net. Millman goes for the passing shot but he misses.  Millman then comes into the net to close the angle, the passing shot down the line is on but Federer's backhand is wide. Second break point. And this time the Australian takes it with a backhand winner.

Is yet another shock on the cards today?


*Federer 1-2 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

The early stages of matches are always fascinating as both players try and suss each other out. A 25 shot rally is a good way to get a look at each other! Federer hardly moving from the left side of baseline, swotting back, back, back but then his backhand misfires into the net for 40-15. A Millman ace wraps up the game. That'll do the Australian good.


Federer 1-1 Millman* (*denotes next to serve)

Federer straight back at him, opening up a 30-0 lead before a slightly iffy forehand error. But that's the only blip on his service game and we're one apiece.


*Federer 0-1 Millman (*denotes next to serve)

After the excitement of Gauff vs Osaka, what can this match produce? A love to hold will suit Millman right down to the ground for a starter.


Players are ready

Roger Federer was beaten by John Millman in their last Grand Slam meeting. The Aussie star pulled off a shock upset to reach his maiden major quarter-final at the 2018 US Open. Federer doesn't seem the sort to target revenge missions but he did turn the tables last year with a straight-sets win at Halle.

And Millman knows the slate is wiped clean as he targets another upset in Melbourne. Federer meanwhile is chasing a seventh Aussie Open title.

"I do know that that [US Open match] doesn't really count for anything now.

“It's probably the toughest test in tennis to [play] Roger Federer. I think a lot of people think he's one of, if not the, greatest ever to play the game.

"I know between now and then I'm going to have to do everything right in terms of my preparation, going to have to improve upon my performances, no doubt.

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