TENNIS | WIMBLEDON | FEDERER
Champion Federer falls to world number 116 Stakhovsky
The Swiss was beaten in four sets by the Ukrainian 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 7-5 and 7-6 (5).
In a Wimbledon with more than its fair of shocks, this was maybe the biggest yet. Reigning Champion Roger Federer fell to current world number 116, Sergiy Stakhovsky, in four sets, losing 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 7-5 and 7-6 (5). The Ukrainian underdog was superb at the net, winning 61 of the 96 points where he came up the court, especially when the pressure was on. Stakhovsky served 17 aces, just one more than his Swiss opponent, but in outright winners the Ukrainian won the tussle 72-57.
Federer took the first set on the tiebreak, and whilst Stakhovsky was playing well there were few signs of the upset to come. But he took the second set on the tiebreak, and then managed to get his first break of the match just when it mattered at the end of the third to go two sets to one up. When he broke and moved to 3-1 in the fourth Federer was in real trouble, though he managed to break back, his first of the match, in the sixth game, to get back to 3-3.
But in the tiebreak Stakhovsky moved ahead and Federer was unable to reel him in. He had his first match point at 6-4, but a mad charge to the net gave Federer another life, who served at 5-6 to stay in it. He couldn’t. Stakhovsky controlled the point after a good return and Federer ended up sending a back hand just wide, and his Wimbledon was over. It’s the first time since 2002 that Federer has left SW19 before the quarter-finals, and it ends a run of 36 consecutive appearances in Grand Slam quarter-finals. Stakhovsky said his win had been “historic”.