Top Seeds Roger Federer and Simona Halep Lose at Miami Open
(March 24, 2018) The Miami Open has become the “wide open,” in terms of the draws as top seeds Roger Federer and Simona Halep lost on Saturday.
Twenty-one-year-old Australian qualifier Thanasi Kokkinakis, ranked 175th in the world rallied past three-time Miami winner and No. 1 Roger Federer, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4). Federer, the oldest No. 1 ever on the ATP World Tour, will lose his top ranking to Rafael Nadal on April 2.
“I deserve it (to lose the top ranking) after this match,” Federer said. “That’s how I feel. Just so bad.”
After starting the season at 17-0, Federer has lost his last two matches – the final of the BNP Paribas Open and Saturday’s second round match.
“I don’t think just mentally being able to stay with me is going to be enough,” Federer said to media. “You have to be able to serve well. At certain moments you have to either not miss or hit winners.
“He was just a bit better than me today, you know. What exactly that was, I think you probably have to break it down to the key moments. He was a bit more relaxed. I was in search mode the whole match. I never got going.
“But you have to ask him how he felt out there. I hope that he felt better. If he played terrible as well, then I’m even more disappointed.”
Kokkinakis is now the lowest-ranked man to beat a No. 1 player since No. 178 Francisco Clavet beat No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt in 2003, also in Miami.
“It feels good,” said the young Australian. “Any match feels good to win, especially now where I am in my sort of comeback and trying to play some matches.
“Yeah, against him, he’s been super nice to me. Invited me to Dubai a couple times to train with him. He’s been real supportive. Anything he thinks in my game, how it should operate, I’ve been all ears listening to him.
“To share the court, have such a big win on a big court against the world No. 1, it’s pretty crazy. Pretty happy about it.”
“I know him well,” Federer said. “He’s been to Dubai to practice with me a couple of times. I knew him very well. We have worked very hard together. I’ve always liked his game.
“I’m happy for him that on the big stage he was able to show it, center court, Miami, people watching, beating me. It’s a big result for him in his career. I hope it’s going to launch him, really getting his ranking up.”
Federer said that he will skip the clay court season, as he did last year.
“I’m a positive thinker. I feel like every match is an another opportunity. Especially after losing one, clearly I’m down right now. I’m disappointed. I’m frustrated a little bit that I couldn’t find a way. It’s unfortunate how it goes.
“Yeah, it’s pretty simple at the end of the day. You go back to the practice court or go on vacation, you really take a break, get away from it all. When you come back to the practice court to work, whatever it is, you do it at 100%.”
“Everyone’s a human,” Kokkinakis said in regard to Federer’s loss. “I played all the sort of big four now. Had a couple good wins. I know what my abilities are on the practice court. Maybe Dubai helped a little bit to know what he likes to do.
“I played a lot of good players in practice and in matches. In practice, I feel really good with a lot of the players. Again, there’s obviously that difficulty trying to bring that to a match court. I know if I bring that level, I can beat a lot of good players. That’s what I tried to do.
“Yeah, I mean, everyone is human. He just plays tennis a lot better than a lot of people.”
The match before Federer and Kokkinakis took to the court, saw Simona Halep lose to former No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.
“I expected a tough match from Simona, so I’m just glad I could win a match like this,” Radwanska said after the match. She was happy with the way she played, especially closing out the victory.
Radwandska will get another test in the third round when she plays former No. 1 and three-time Miami champion Victoria Azarenka.
More to follow…
Marjory Stomeman Douglas Night @ the Miami Open: The Miami Open welcomed students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School boys and girls tennis team for Saturday’s night session. ATP players joined the students on court including: Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, Denis Shapovalov, Alexander Zverev, Sam Querry, Steve Johnson, Michael Mmoh, Diego Schwartzman, Karen Khachanov, Kevin Anderson and Hyeon Chung; and WTA players Elina Svitolina, Nadiia Kichenok, Anastasia Rodionova, Lyudmyla Kichenok and Garbiñe Muguruza in a sign of unity.
MSD senior Angelique Meneses sang the National Anthem. Meneses, a member of the student government and senior class board, has also performed the National Anthem at other professional sporting events including the Astros vs. Nationals.
Winfred Porter, Jr., 2018 Broward County Assistant Principal of the year handled the coin toss for the night.
The students were able to meet Monica Puig and John Isner prior to the on-court ceremony and stayed to enjoy a night of tennis.
#MSDSTRONG t-shirts were sold throughout the day to raise money for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Victim’s Fund.
Click here to contribute