Each day during the Australian Open we will take a trip in our tennis time machine to relive historical moments in the tournament's history. Today we will look at a classic match between Roger Federer and Janko Tipsarevic in 2008. (Yesterday, we revisited John McEnroe's infamous AO banishment; on Monday, it was the "Serena Slam"
(January 15, 2013) -- With Roger Federer on a sixteen-match Australian Open winning streak in 2008, the thought of then World No. 49 Janko Tipsarevic probably didn't inspire much fear in the Swiss Maestro's heart. But by the end of their wildly entertaining four-hour, twenty-seven minute third-round saga, Federer had gone from fear to loathing to relief, and finally, happiness. "It's not such a relief, more happiness," said Federer after the 6-7(5), 7-6(1), 5-7, 6-1, 10-8 insta-classic had concluded. "I'm glad I could deliver a five-set thriller," he added. "I don't have them that often except at Wimbledon against Nadal."
Tipsarevic, then 23, had never won a tour title, but he proved to many in this match that he was a player who could produce scintillating tennis on tennis's grandest stages -- something we are still coming to grips with as the eclectic Serb has just recently cracked the top ten.
Federer would emerge victorious against the young Tipsarevic, but he eventually fell in his bid for an Australian Open three-peat in 2008 at the hands of another Serb by the name of Novak Djokovic. Djokovic went on to win his first Slam, taking out Jo-Wilfiried Tsonga in the final, but notions of Federer's downfall were premature. He would win three of the next five Grand Slams, including a straight-set whooping of Djokovic in the 2008 U.S. Open final.
As for Tipsarevic, he's grown monumentally as a player over the last five years, but he never has managed to get Federer's number. The Serb has lost nine consecutive sets to Federer since their edge-of-your-seat thriller in 2008.