Roger Federer knocked out of Wimbledon
Defending champion beaten in the second round by Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky
Seven-time champion Roger Federer of Switzerland was beaten in four sets by Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters
Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine beat Roger Federer of Switzerland at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters
Dustin Brown of Germany drops his racquet during his men’s singles tennis match against Lleyton Hewitt of Australia at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
Andy Murray of Great Britain waves to the crowd as he celebrates match point during his second round win over Lu Yen-Hsun of Taipei. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Defending champion Roger Federer’s remarkable run of reaching 36 consecutive grand slam quarter-finals or better was ended in a shock second-round Wimbledon defeat by unheralded Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky on Wednesday.
Federer’s 6-7(5) 7-6(5) 7-5 7-6(5) loss in exactly three hours rocked Wimbledon to its core on a day that already seemed surreal after seven players withdrew or retired injured and third-seeded Russian Maria Sharapova also stumbled to defeat.
The last time Federer, who has won a record 17 grand slam titles, including seven gilded Challenge Cups, failed to reach at least the last eight was in the 2004 French Open. But on day three of the championships an opponent ranked a lowly 116th in the world launched outrageous winners left, right and centre to bring Federer to his knees and condemn the Swiss to his earliest Wimbledon exit since a first-round loss in 2002.
Speaking to the BBC in the immediate aftermath, Stakhovsky said: “I am in disbelief that it happened. It was the best tennis I played and incredible. When you play Roger Federer at Wimbledon he’s historical, it’s like two against one. I hoped he wouldn’t get too far from me, that was my plan.
“I hung in there, tried to go to tie-breaks. I got a little tight when I got up a break in the fourth and I am really happy to go through. It’s magic. I couldn’t play any better. I did everything I needed, it was a fantastic day for me.”
Even the most optimistic of Stakhovsky supporters could not have seen this dramatic Centre Court result — one of the biggest shocks in Wimbledon history — coming this evening. The 27-year-old, who has only made the second round here once before, played a superb serve-and-volley game that ended Federer’s run of 36 consecutive grand slam quarter-final appearances.
Stakhovsky was good value for the win, with Federer having no answer to his opponent’s movement and precision.
Federer insisted the result was not a tragedy.
“It’s always a disappointment losing any match,” he told a press conference. “Particularly here, I’ve had some great moments but some tougher ones. You can’t have it all.”
On the end of his incredible quarter-final streak, the 31-year-old added: “It’s a great number, I’m very happy about it. I wish it wasn’t going to end here today but I don’t think fans are going to mourn it or myself. They’ll get over it, I’ll get over it. I can be proud of it but move on.
“Today was a normal day, a normal warm-up, normal match. Clearly I was hoping to win the match but I couldn’t do it. What you do after something like this, you don’t panic at this point. Go back to work and come back stronger. It’s hard to do sometimes.”
Andy Murray avoided the carnage to move smoothly into the third round with victory over Lu Yen-hsun earlier this evening.
On a day of injuries and shocks — the victims including Murray’s once-potential quarter-final opponent Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who walked out of his second-round clash with Ernests Gulbis after suffering knee and wrist injuries - the world number two left Court One with his title prospects enhanced.