After avoiding a dramatic exit on Friday, Roger Federer will be eager to get through his fourth round against Marton Fucsovics with the minimum of fuss. The Hungarian is one of just three unseeded players left in the last 16 of the tournament, the other two being Tennys Sandgren and Marin Cilic.
In the fourth round for the second time in three years, Fucsovics has been good value for his place. He beat two of the top young players on the tour in Jannik Sinner and Denis Shapovalov before cruising past Tommy Paul in round three. This week has shown the good side of the Hungarian but results like his 6-2 6-0 Doha loss to Miomir Kecmanovic go some way to showing why he is not a consistent top 30 or 40 player just yet.
Federer made it 100 wins at the Australian Open with victory over John Millman and this five set thriller will definitely be one of the more memorable ones. He had been heading to a fourth straight loss in fifth sets as well as another loss to the Australian but managed to recover just in time to secure the 4-6 7-6 6-4 4-6 7-6 win from 4-8 down in the tiebreak. “It was a tough [final-set] tie-break throughout, because I didn’t feel like I was playing badly or really taking bad decisions… He punished me every single time,” said Federer. “He was really coming up with the goods and was able to stretch the lead. Once he had the lead, I was always able to hold on with my serve and win my points, which was really important.
Federer will be eager to not be dragged deep into the match like he was against Millman, especially with his stamina in long matches back to back under question. One difference may be that unlike Millman, Fucsovics does not have a win to draw from in their past. They have played twice including once at the 2018 Australian Open, where Federer cruised through in straights.
Prediction – Roger Federer in straight sets