Roger Federer suffered one of the most shocking defeats in his career. The 20-year old Stefanos Tsitsipas eliminated him from the Australian Open earlier today, after a hard and tough battle. The young Greek won 3-1, by sets 6-7(11), 7-6(3), 7-5, 7-6(5), and made the biggest upset in this year’s tournament.
After three hours and 50 minutes of play, the reigning champion had to give up his crown and surrender to a much younger, and hungrier opponent.
IMMORTALITY!!!!!@steftsitsipas has done it!!!
He has beaten @rogerfederer 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, 7-6!!!!
— FOX Sports LIVE! (@FSAsiaLive) January 20, 2019
After the event, the Swiss legend admitted that Tsitsipas played better today, and that he had lost against a “better” rival.
“I lost to a better player who was playing very well tonight. Hung in there, gave himself chances at some point, stayed calm. It’s not always easy, especially for younger guys. Credit to him for taking care of that.” Roger stated.
It was obvious right from the start, that this encounter isn’t going to be a regular one for the 20-time Grand Slam winner, as Tsitsipas tried to impose his tempo and fiercely used his serve, not allowing for FedEx to either of the two break chances he had in the opening set. Two of them reached the tie break in which more experienced Federer prevailed, but not entirely because of his qualities.
During the exchange in the last point of the tiebreak, someone from the crowd disturbed Tsitsipas yelling that the ball was out, and the young Greek didn’t continue to play as he should. Federer used that, taking both the point and the set.
The situation wasn’t like that in the next set, and the youngster managed to avenge for the previous sequence, after Federer missed eight break point chances. That is something which rarely happened to him in the past. Three of those were set points.
According to last year’s champ, that might have been the decisive moment of the entire clash, and he still doesn’t realize how he ended up losing that part of the game.
“I have massive regrets tonight. I felt like I had to win the second set,” said Federer. “I don’t care how I do it, but I had to do it. It cost me the game tonight.”
Roger was very honest and harsh towards himself, saying that Tsitsipas’ serve is still an enigma for him. So far, he didn’t break him at least once, and them two already met this season, at the Hopman Cup. Even back then Federer didn’t have a solution for the Greek.
“Clearly something is wrong with how I return him, what I’m trying to do. He’s doing a good job to defend them. Nevertheless, it’s very frustrating.”
In the end, the world No.3 had 12 break chances failing to convert any of them. On the other side, his opponent used one of three.
The similar scenario happened in the third set, when Roger threatened first, having two break point chances, but dropping both of them. Tsitsipas was patient, defending his serve and waiting for his opportunity to strike. Which eventually happened in the 12th game when Federer served for the tiebreak.
“I didn’t lose my patience. That was the key to save those break points. Overall I showed a great fighting spirit and determination.” Greek said about his performance after the game.
His next opponent will be Roberto Bautista Agut, who is in great shape this season. After winning the tournament in Doha, he continued with excellent performances and at the moment, the Spaniard has 9 straight triumphs.
Federer spoke about his plans for the future, not allowing for this defeat to bring him down. The 37-year old legend, has a lot of ideas for the upcoming campaign, and they involve a lot more games than he had over the recent years. Unlike then, he won’t have such long pauses during the season.
“I feel that it is not really necessary,” he said. “So that’s how this was decided.”
He also said that he might show up at Roland Garros, for the first time since 2015.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.