German Championships: Surprise defeat leaves Roger Federer plenty to ponder
Sunday 21 July 2013
Roger Federer suffered a shock defeat to Argentinian qualifier Federico Delbonis 7-6 (7) 7-6 (4) in the semi-finals of the German Championships yesterday.
Federer, a four-time champion on the clay courts of Hamburg, was outplayed by the left-hander – 114 in the world rankings. Delbonis will now play in the first final of his professional career.
“He played well, he was a little more aggressive,” Federer said.
The Swiss took a wild card for this tournament after being knocked out in the second round at Wimbledon. The 31-year-old dropped to world No 5 earlier this month, his lowest ranking in a decade. He has won one title this year, on grass in Halle, Germany.
Federer, then the defending Wimbledon champion, lost at SW19 to world No 116 Sergiy Stakhovsky – a player who failed to qualify for Hamburg. It was Federer’s earliest Grand Slam defeat in 10 years, and his first loss to a player ranked outside the top 100 since 2005.
Federer changed his racket after Wimbledon, going for a bigger frame. But he has struggled here, going to three sets in two of his previous three matches.
Delbonis could scarcely believe he had beaten the 17-time Grand Slam champion. “I feel like I’m dreaming,” the 22-year-old said. “My key was to enjoy the match and enjoy playing this kind of player, because he’s the best of all time.”
In the final, Delbonis will meet Italy’s Fabio Fognini, who moved within one victory of his second title in two weeks when he beat third-seeded Nicolas Almagro.
Delbonis was playing only the second semi-final of his pro career but maintained his composure and gave Federer only two break points, one of which he saved. Federer broke for a 2-1 lead but was broken right back and had to save two set points to force the tie-breaker. He squandered a 4-2 lead, was unable to convert his one set point and saved three with service winners before Delbonis converted his fourth with a smash after some well-played points.
Federer came under pressure immediately in the second set and had to fend off three break points in his opening service game and another in the sixth. Delbonis saved one break point in the next game with a superb volley winner.
In the tie-breaker, Federer made two straight groundstroke errors and he netted a forehand on Delbonis’s first match point.
Delbonis will jump to a career-high ranking of around world No 59 after reaching the final, according to the ATP.
Serena Williams – who, like Federer, also experienced a surprise exit at Wimbledon – defeated Klara Zakopalova 6-0 6-4 in the semi-finals of the Swedish Open to reach today’s final, where she will take on home favourite Johanna Larsson. After losing the first eight games, the Czech managed to break Williams’s serve and then tie the set at 2-2 before Williams powered to victory.
Larsson had to come from behind to beat Italy’s Flavia Pennetta to win 2-6 6-3 6-4.
Pornhub: Cheeky Liverpool fan uploads Philippe Coutinho wonder-goal video to adult website
Liverpool injury news: Brendan Rodgers could be without up to seven players for Burnley game... as Jordon Ibe posts picture of knee brace
Arsenal shareholders Stan Kroenke, Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri appear on Forbes' rich list - with a combined net worth of £14.9bn
Watch the moment a basketball player reassures a small boy after a mass brawl erupted on court
Jon Stewart brings The Daily Show to WWE Raw as Seth Rollins pays the price for feud with TV presenter
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin