In a meeting between the last two champions, Albert Montanes stunned World No. 1 Roger Federer 6-2, 7-6(5) this afternoon at a rainy Estoril Open.
After a two-hour rain delay which postponed the start of the match, the defending champion Montanes notched his best career victory in beating Federer, an Estoril winner himself in 2008.
The 34th-ranked Montanes will face Portugal’s Federico Gil who was a 6-2, 5-7, 6-3.
Since his Australian Open triumph in January, Federer has now gone titless in four straight tournaments during which the Swiss has compiled a grotesque 0-4 record against players inside the Top 40 and he’s been unable to even reach a final at an ATP event like Estoril where Federer was the lone Top 30 ranked player in the field following withdrawals of Gael Monfils and Ivan Ljubicic.
“I’m not worried. It’s too far away. My goal isn’t to win 12 tournaments a year, it is the big events,” Federer said after the 1-hour, 22-minute loss, his 5th of the year.
Federer committed 48 errors in the match and he voiced his displeasure.
“I’m disappointed to have played a match like this, where I got off to a bad start again. I didn’t play that badly in the second set,” said Federer who held a 5-2 second set tiebreak lead. “I had my moments but my movement was a little slow. I didn’t have confidence in my movement. I have put in a lot of work.”
Federer now heads to Madrid as the top seed at a tournament which features the best Spanish claycourters like Rafael Nadal, Fernando Verdasco and David Ferrer.
“I’m lacking matches,” said Federer who begins his French Open title defense in just over two weeks. “I’ll keep practicing hard again. Conditions will speed up in Madrid and Paris. I must take positives into the next few weeks.”
In Serbia, for the second straight week Sam Querrey and John Isner (“Quisner”) will play in Sunday final, and this time it’s against each other. Last week they paired to reach the Rome finals where they lost to the Bryans. Today they each won their semifinal matches to give the U.S. its first all-American claycourt final since Jim Courier beat Andre Agassi at the 1991 French Open.
Isner posted a strong win over Stanislas Wawrinka 7-5, 7-5. Querrey hammered 18-year-old Filip Krajinovic 6-1, 6-2.
Over in Munich, the top two seeds, Marin Cilic and Mikhail Youzhny, will slug it out for the title. Youhzny advanced easily in straight sets over Petzchner while Cilic worked hard to beat Marcos Baghdatis 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Federer-Montanes Highlights and interview:
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