When Rafael Nadal watched his great rival until 1:00 am in Melbourne

Roger Federer turned 38 in 2019, and he was still among the world’s leading players. The Swiss veteran wrapped up the season inside the top-3 behind Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic following the Masters 1000 title in Miami and two match points wasted versus Djokovic in that epic Wimbledon final. Ready for another strong campaign at the 2020 Australian Open, Federer advanced into the semis before experiencing a nasty knee injury that had kept him away from the court for 13 months. Federer played a great match against the local star John Millman in the third round, keeping the crowd on Rod Laver Arena on the edge of their seats and “forcing” world no. 1 Rafael Nadal to watch them until 1 am, as he could not miss such a thrilling clash.

Millman pushed the six-time Australian Open champion to the limits for over four hours in front of the home fans, standing two points away from victory before Roger prevailed 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6! The Swiss grabbed the last six points in the deciding match tie break from 8-4 down to avoid an early exit and stay on the title course after one of the most memorable encounters of the tournament in the past decade. The players threw everything they had at each other, with Federer hitting more winners and errors. Millman stayed in touch with the well-balanced game and a positive mindset, drawing the most from the crowd’s support and enjoying every moment on the court.

Rafael Nadal stayed up late and watched Roger Federer vs. Millman in Melbourne 2020.

Bouncing back from two sets to one down, John forced a decider and had a massive opportunity to seal the deal and topple the 20-time Major winner. The Aussie led 8-4 in the match tie break before Roger took charge, taking the following six points to erase the deficit and seal the deal in his 100th Australian Open victory! The world’s leading player Rafael Nadal stayed up late and watched the match until the end, enjoying the fearsome battle between two great rivals and praising the efforts of both in an interview following his third-round victory over Pablo Carreno Busta.

“I stayed awake to watch Roger Federer and John Millman; it was impossible to miss such an exciting encounter. It was emotional in the end, and I enjoyed the battle. Millman is a fighter; it seems he never stops running. He was smiling for the entire match, with a positive mind and a great character on the court,” Rafael Nadal said.