Roger Federer loses to Novak Djokovic but earns another age record
Despite being one of the oldest players left on the Tour, Roger Federer is still capable of producing high-quality tennis and fight for the biggest titles. In Melbourne, the Swiss managed to pass two tough obstacles and reach the 46th Major semi-final, his 15th at the Australian Open in 21 trips down under!
At the age of 38 years and five months, Roger became the fourth-oldest Major semi-finalist in the Open era and the oldest one since 1991, proving once again that age is just a number in his case. Ken Rosewall was the semi-finalist at the Australian Open in January 1977 at the age of 42 years, keeping the record that should stay in hos property for good, followed by another legend Pancho Gonzales who competed in the last eight in the first Open era Major in Paris in 1968, just after turning 40.
Federer's closest rival on the list is the mentioned Jimmy Connors who had his swan song at beloved US Open in 1991, celebrating the 39th birthday during the event and still standing third on the list ahead of Roger (that could change at the US Open in September).
Joining some of the best veterans in the history of our sport, Federer has proved his everlasting class once again, battling against much younger rivals and falling only to the defending champion Novak Djokovic, having a chance to win the opener and make the match more interesting.
The Swiss star needed less than three hours to topple Steve Johnson and Filip Krajinovic in the opening two rounds before much tougher obstacle in John Millman who pushed Roger to the limits for more than four hours. An inspired Aussie led 8-4 in the deciding match tie break before Federer bounced back to take six straight points and avoid an early setback.
In the fourth round, Roger ousted Marton Fucsovics with reliable performance in sets two, three and four, setting the clash against Tennys Sandgren that turned out to be an epic one! Struggling with a groin injury, the Swiss had to save seven match points in the fourth set, staying in the match by a miracle and bringing the win home in the fifth set to book the 50th meeting against Novak Djokovic.
The oldest Major semi-finalist in almost 30 years made a great start against the seven-time winner before Novak took charge, overcoming the deficit to steal the opener and never looking back, sending Roger out of the tournament but with another age record on his tally, hoping for more of the same in the rest of the season.