Federer overcomes slow start
Top seed Barty battles into Australian Open quarters; Coco Gauff, 15, crashes out in tears
Melbourne : Roger Federer needed some time to get going in the Australian Open's fourth round, a match after a draining and difficult escape in which he was two points from defeat.
To be precise, he required a full set to get sorted. After seeming sluggish while dropping the opener, Federer quickly righted himself and pushed through the next three sets without a hitch, reaching the 57th Grand Slam quarterfinal of his career by coming back to beat Marton Fucsovics 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 on Sunday.
When he takes on Tennys Sandgren of the United States on Tuesday, it'll be the 38-year-old Federer's record 15th quarterfinal at the Australian Open. He has won the title at Melbourne Park a half-dozen times, part of his men's-record 20 major championships.
The other quarterfinal on that side of the bracket is defending champion Novak Djokovic against No. 32 Milos Raonic of Canada. The fourth-round matchups Monday: No. 1 Rafael Nadal vs. No. 23 Nick Kyrgios, No. 4 Daniil Medvedev vs. three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka, No. 5 Dominic Thiem vs. No. 10 Gael Monfils, and No. 7 Alexander Zverev vs. No. 17 Andrey Rublev.
Federer's slow start against Fucsovics might have been a result of all of the energy he expended while getting past John Millman in a fifth-set super tiebreaker on Friday. Millman was two points from victory at 8-4, before Federer reeled off the last six consecutive points.
Things never got quite so dire against Fucsovics, a 27-year-old from Hungary who is ranked 67th and was seeking his first major quarterfinal appearance. After failing to accumulate a single break point in the first set, Federer won seven of Fucsovics' service games the rest of the way.
He ended up with a 44-15 edge in winners on an evening with the temperature in the mid-60s Fahrenheit (below 20 Celsius). Federer has yet to face a seeded player in the tournament and that won't change against Sandgren, who is ranked 100th but eliminated No. 12 Fabio Fognini in four sets. The lowest-ranked player that has ever defeated Federer in his 21 Australian Open appearances was No. 54 Arnaud Clement in 2000.
Top seed and home hope Ashleigh Barty survived a scare to battle into the Australian Open quarter-finals in three sets on Sunday.
The world number one beat American 18th seed Alison Riske 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 and next plays two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, her opponent at the same stage last year. Kvitova won on that occasion and Barty will be out for revenge, after she avoided becoming the latest big name to exit. Six of the top 10 women's seeds are already out.
Coco Gauff's bid for history at the Australian Open ended in tears in the last 16 on Sunday as the 15-year-old crashed out in three sets to fellow American Sofia Kenin.The 14th seed Kenin recovered from a set down to win convincingly 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-0 and Gauff left the court crying.
Kenin plays Tunisia's unseeded Ons Jabeur after she defeated China's Wang Qiang to become the first Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final. "I just did the best I can.
I just tried to take it like any other match," said Kenin, who also had tears in her eyes afterwards. "I know she's (Gauff) playing well, I just tried to play my game and fight for every point and just not focus on anything else."