Wimbledon: Federer defeat ends crazy day

Defending champion Roger Federer lost to world number 116 Sergiy Stakhovsky to complete a crazy day at Wimbledon.

The seven-time winner in SW19 lost 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (7/5) 7-5 7-6 (7/5) to Stakhovsky in the second round on a day which had already seen a host of players withdraw injured, including Victoria Azarenka and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Maria Sharapova suffer a surprise loss.

Federer's defeat - one of the greatest in Wimbledon history - ended a run of of 36 consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final appearances by the Swiss star dating back to the 2004 French Open.

Despite his dream of a record eighth Wimbledon crown coming to such an early end, Federer insisted the result was not a tragedy, saying: "It's always a disappointment losing any match, particularly here. I've had some great moments but some tougher ones. You can't have it all.''

Of the end of his incredible quarter-final streak, the 31-year-old said: "It's a great number, I'm very happy about it.

It is Federer's earliest defeat at Wimbledon since losing in the 1st round in 2002

"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.''

Things started well enough for Federer as he edged a tight first set on a tie-break, playing Stakhovsky at his own game by advancing to the net to drop a forehand winner. Stakhovsky saved two set points but Federer responded with an ace to take a difficult opener after 45 minutes.

There had been no breaks of serve and that pattern continued in the second set but this time it was the Ukrainian who took it to level the contest.

Federer put pressure on his opponent's serve regularly in the third set but couldn't find the breakthrough and he was made to pay when he lost his own delivery in the 11th game - the first service break of the entire match.

Federer sent down an ace to save a break point at 5-5, but Stakhovsky had one more chance and he took it when the champion mis-hit a simple backhand.

Stakhovsky, who had only made the second round here once before, moved to the brink of victory with an early break in the fourth set but Federer showed his champion qualities to hit back to level at 3-3.

He had set points on the Stakhovsky serve at 5-6 to take the match into a deciding set - for which he would suely have been favourite - but his little-known foe stood firm to force another tie-break on the famous Centre Court.


An early mini-break was soon converted into a 5-2 lead for the 27-year-old and although Federer got the breaker back on serve with a superb return and following pass he faltered again on the second match point by sending a backhand wide.

The defeat was good news for Andy Murray whose path to the final has now become much clearer. He had been seeded to meet Federer in the semi-finals.


  "It's always a disappointment losing any match. Particularly here, I've had some great moments but some tougher ones. You can't have it all."
Roger Federer

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.''

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