The Sport Matrix: Thursday 27 June 2013


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The Independent Online

Federer crashes out as draw opens up for Murray

One of the most extraordinary days in Wimbledon's 136 years ended in the highest drama here last night as Roger Federer, the seven-time winner, suffered the most astonishing defeat of his career.

The defending champion was beaten 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, 7-6 in the second round by world No 116 Sergiy Stakhovsky, above, to end his record run of 36 Grand Slam quarter-finals.

Federer's earliest loss at Wimbledon for 11 years and his earliest in a Grand Slam for a decade came at the end of a day in which the No 2 and 3 women's seeds both crashed out and a total of seven players withdrew or retired through injury.

"It was magic," Stakhovsky said. "When you play Federer at Wimbledon it's like you're playing two people – Federer and his ego. Every important point I played well and served and volleyed incredibly well. I can tell my grandkids I kicked the butt of Roger Federer."

Andy Murray earlier beat Lu Yen-hsun in straight sets. Juan Martin del Potro, world No 8, is now the highest-ranked player the Scot can face before the final. MORE

Tsonga out on bleak Wednesday

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga withdrew from Wimbledon yesterday, pulling out of his second-round match against Ernests Gulbis with a knee injury. Four other men departed injured: Steve Darcis, who had earlier beaten Rafa Nadal, John Isner, Marin Cilic and Radek Stepanek. MORE

Top women's seeds also forced out

The women's draw at Wimbledon also suffered, with No 2 seed Victoria Azarenka and No 3 Maria Sharapova both exiting the tournament. Sharapova joined Caroline Wozniacki in requiring treatment after falling on No 2 court, while Yaroslava Shvedova also left SW19. MORE

Robson close to challenging best

Former Wimbledon champion Lindsay Davenport has backed Laura Robson to continue her rapid rise. "She's a great ball striker," Davenport said. "She has a lot of power. She needs to get that serve better. She's got the ability to have a left-handed serve as a weapon." MORE

Paulinho puts Brazil into final

A late winner from Tottenham target Paulinho took Brazil through to Sunday's Confederations Cup final as they overcame Uruguay 2-1 in Belo Horizonte. Diego Forlan had an early penalty saved before Fred gave the hosts the lead. Edinson Cavani levelled early in the second half.

Jenkins praises Lions kicking duo

Kicking coach Neil Jenkins has praised the reliability of the boots of Lions pair Leigh Halfpenny and Owen Farrell. "Leigh had that ability from day one and has a tremendous work ethic," he said. "Owen is similar. He has kicking in his genes." MORE

Morgan: KP return can boost England

Eoin Morgan believes Kevin Pietersen's return can only help England's chances of levelling the T20 series with New Zealand today. "What he brings to the table, very few people can," he said. "He can take the game away from you at any stage." MORE

Strauss: Australia still pose a threat

Former England captain Andrew Strauss says Australia should not be underestimated in the Ashes. "They are not as bad as people are making out," he said. "Australia have a very strong bowling line-up. There are a lot of players playing for their positions." MORE

McMahon lowers sights for Express

Ed McMahon has shown the consistency of his judgement by resisting Royal Ascot in favour of a listed race for Winning Express at Warwick today. Regardless of a likely edge in class, she should be suited by the drop in trip to seven furlongs. MORE

Booth eagerly awaiting US debut

Carly Booth is looking forward to making her debut in the US Women's Open today. "It will be a great week and experience," she said. "I like the feeling of playing alongside the best and I'm looking forward to it." MORE

James Lawton

At one level Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was another victim of the day when players were going down like battlefield casualties. On another, Tsonga was subject to Ernests Gulbis's belief he was physically vulnerable. MORE