Seven-time champion Roger Federer suffered a shock defeat to 116th-ranked Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine in the second round of the Wimbledon Championships Wednesday. [CFP]
Seven-time champion Roger Federer suffered a shock defeat to 116th-ranked Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine in the second round of the Wimbledon Championships Wednesday.
It will be the first time in 37 Grand Slam events and nine years that the quarterfinal stage of Wimbledon will take place without Federer's name among the participants.
The third-seeded Federer, who had not lost before the quarterfinals since 2002 when he lost in the opening round, lost to the 27-year-old Stakhovsky 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 5-7, 7-6 (5) on the Center Court.
The Swiss super star, who beat Andy Murray in last year's final, has won 17 Grand Slam titles and maintained good form after taking his first time of 2013 at Halle grasscourt tournament, a warmup event for Wimbledon.
Stakhovsky became the first Ukrainian man to reach the third round at Wimbledon since Andrie Medvedev in 1997. The win was his first over a top 10 player in his career.
"I'm still in disbelief that actually happened," said Stakhovsky. "Magic. Beating Roger on his court where he is a legend is special. He's the greatest player, the biggest name, and a decent man everyone admires. I couldn't play any better. I played my best tennis and still it was almost not enough to beat Roger Federer. When you play him at Wimbledon, you play two people - you play Roger Federer, and then you also play his ego and his Centre Court history. I just hoped he wouldn't get too far ahead of me so I would have a chance to stay in the match and that's what happened. I got a little tight in the fourth set but I did everything I needed to and wanted to. I'm incredibly happy."
Before this match, the highest-ranked player Stakhovsky had ever beaten was Marcos Baghdatis in 2010, when the Cypriot was No. 18
"The 24-hour rule applies," said Federer. "He was uncomfortable to play against, but I expected serve-and-volley because he often does it. Credit to him for closing it out under enormous pressure. I'm very disappointed I couldn't find a way to win. I had opportunities, a foot in the door, but I couldn't do it.
"It doesn't feel like the end of an era for me because I still have plans to play for many more years to come. Some finals haven' t hurt this much. At least having lost I didn't have to go through a trophy ceremony with this one."