- Wimbledon Day Three
Federer floored by super Stakhovsky
Roger Federer will not be defending his Wimbledon crown this year after the Swiss suffered a shock defeat to Sergiy Stakhovsky - a result which left the seven-time champion stunned along with the crowd on Centre Court.
On a day when several players withdrew and top seeds tumbled all over SW19, Federer follows Rafael Nadal through the exit door as a surprise early loser, and falls before the quarter-final stage of a grand slam for the first time since the 2004 French Open, and his first at Wimbledon two years prior to that.
After edging out his opponent ranked 116 in the world in an opening set tiebreak, Stakhovsky was inspired and produced a phenomenal display to dethrone the champion 6-7(5) 7-6(5) 7-5 7-6(5).
Stakhovsky had been to the third round of the French Open, the Australian Open and the US Open, and now thanks to a shock victory over Federer has made it through to that stage of Wimbledon for the first time.
Early on, Federer was effortless on his serve in the opening set, but he failed to find a breakthrough on Stakhovsky's, who was proving to be a stubborn customer for the Swiss.
A combination of serve and volleys as well as huge first serves saw Stakhovsky hold his ground, but in the tiebreak the experience of Federer showed, and the first set was sealed with an ace to pinch it 7-5.
Federer fended off a break point in the second game of the following set to make it 1-1, and the pair could not be separated as both held to love to share the opening four games.
Once again with his serve under scrutiny, Federer held on to level at 3-3, and it was the third seed who had the opportunities to clinch a vital break in the 11th game. However, Stakhovsky forced a second tiebreak, and clinched it with a forehand volley winner after Federer hit a shot wide on the previous point.
Federer was two points from the set thanks to a lucky net chord for 15-30 and a sweeping backhand up the line for deuce, but it was Stakhovsky who grabbed the first break of the match and went 6-5 in front, before another volley ensured he would go two sets to one up on the champion.
Stakhovsky continued to show great composure at the net, and the Ukrainian broke to go 2-1 in front in the fourth.
Federer had to break for the first time in the tie if he was to stay in the match, but when two chances came and went in the fourth game, he appeared to miss his opportunity.
But not in the sixth as he levelled the set and went 5-4 up. Stakhovsky though would not allow Federer out of his sight, and after saving a set point took the contest into a third tiebreak.
On the verge of the greatest victory of his career, Stakhovsky did not crumble and raced into a 5-2 lead.
Federer demonstrated the true champion he is by clawing his way back, and when he saved one of two match points with an incredible forehand, the momentum was with the Swiss.
However, on his serve he rallied with Stakhovsky, and after several exchanges it was the latter who was gifted the victory when a backhand landed wide from Federer.