In one of the most shocking losses in his career, Roger Federer was stunned today in the second round of Wimbledon by lightly regarded Sergiy Stakhovsky 67(5), 76(5), 75, 76(5).
“It’s always a disappointment losing any match around the world, and particularly here,” said Federer after his earliest Grand Slam loss in 10 years. “I’ve had some great moments here, but also some tougher ones. Yeah, can’t have ’em all. It was a tough loss today.”
Stakhovsky kept Federer off balance with an array of serve-and-volley artistry, almost playing Federer-like at times.
“He was uncomfortable to play against,” he said. “I think he served and volleyed really well. It was difficult to get into that much rhythm clearly against a player like that. But I don’t mind it, to be quite honest, playing an opponent like that. I mean, I think he did really well. I struggled maybe on the big points, you know, this time around again, like I have for some time this season.
“It was tricky. But credit to him for closing it out under enormous pressure. He was better in the more important points today than I was.”
Federer won’t be higher than No. 5 in the new rankings and the loss further signals a decline in which he’s won just one title in the last 10 months, and will now going into the summer hardcourts without a Grand Slam in 52 weeks.
“Right now this is a setback, a disappointment, whatever you want to call it,” said Federer. “But then overall I think I played great eight months ago at the World Tour Finals, I played great at the Australian Open. If things would have gone my way, maybe I could have done a bit more.
“Overall I think I’ve been playing actually not so bad, like some have portrayed it. Season’s not over here. Only just in the middle. Still have a lot of tennis left. That’s what I try to use for a good end to the season.”
After taking the opening set, Federer failed to win another against the 116th ranked Ukraine. And now almost 32, will Federer ever add to his 17 Grand Slam haul?
“Well, what do you do after something like this?” Federer said. “What do you do? Do you do the 24-hour rule? You don’t panic at this point, that’s clear. Just go back to work and come back stronger really.
Somewhat simple. Hard to do sometimes.
“I’m looking forward to what’s to come. I hope I can play a good summer, a good end to the season. This is clearly not what I was hoping for here today at this tournament. Unfortunately it does happen. Looking forward to next year, that I can do better next year.
“I still have plans to play for many more years to come.”
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