(June 26, 2013) In a day which saw seven players pull out with injuries and seven former number ones lose at Wimbledon, Roger Federer seven-time champion, lost in the second round to No. 116, qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (5) in one of the biggest upsets in All England Club history.
For Stakhovsky the victory represented his very first win over a top ten player.
“Beating Roger here on his court, where he’s a legend, is I think having definitely a special place in my career, Stakhovsky said.
“I still have no feelings what I accomplished. I’m still somewhere lost. I’m sorry. I cannot really explain. It’s hard for me. I don’t feel nothing actually, I would say, because I don’t really feel it yet. Maybe tomorrow is going to be better.”
For Federer, it was the earliest ouster from a major tournament in ten years since he lost in the first round of Roland Garros in 2003. It is also Federer’s earliest defeat at Wimbledon since losing in the first round in 2002 to No. 154 Mario Ancic.
Also broken was the Swiss’ streak of 36 straight quarterfinal appearances at Grand Slam tournaments which began at Wimbledon in 2004.
“It’s always a disappointment losing any match around the world, and particularly here,” Federer said. “I’ve had some great moments here, but also some tougher ones.
“Yeah, can’t have ’em all. It was a tough loss today. Appreciated all the standing ovation and all the ovation I got leaving the court, no doubt about it.”
To his credit, the Ukrainian served and volley consistently and was dominant on his serve in shocking Federer. He his 72 winners with only 17 unforced errors.
“Well, you can’t really keep up with Roger on grass on baseline rallies,” the 116th ranked player said. “It’s just impossible, I would say, especially here. He’s playing very well. He feels the grass. He feels the slice. He can do whatever he wants with the ball.
“The only tactics I have is press as hard as I can on my serve and come in as much as I can. The shorter it is, the less rhythm he got. I think today I was successful enough that he didn’t get into the returning rhythm, only somewhere in the middle of the fourth set he find it. So I was lucky, I would say, to pull it out in the fourth and finish it.”
Federer inisists that he should not counted out in the future.
“Usually I do turnarounds pretty good,” Federer said. “I’m looking forward to what’s to come, you know. I hope I can play a good summer, a good end to the season. This is clearly not what I was hoping for here today at this tournament.
“Unfortunately it does happen. Looking forward to next year, that I can do better next year.”
“I hope I can come out with a great performance the next round,“ Stakhovsky said. That’s what you have to do in order to win. Beating (Federer) today was great, but I didn’t win the tournament. I just won the second round. There’s another five rounds.
“When I get off the court, I don’t know who I play next round. Now I know.”
He’ll face Jurgen Melzer next.
Federer’s stunning loss ended a day which saw the departure of former number ones including Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Jelena Jankovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic and Lleyton Hewitt. A total of seven players were forced to withdraw from the tournaments on Wednesday due to injuries.