Roger Federer’s grass Wimbledon preparation came to an abrupt end today in Halle. The 10-time tournament champion fell today to rising star Felix Auger-Aliassime 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Federer was sharp in the opening set against the 20-year-old who just made the Stuttgart finals Sunday. But mid-way through the second, Auger-Aliassime got a break and the dominated the error-prone Swiss.
In their first meeting, Auger-Aliassime ran away with the match in the third. Federer, who falls before the quarterfinals for the first time ever at Halle, was not pleased with how the match finished.
“Of course I know Felix is a great player and he was better today. I would have maybe lost anyhow. But it’s a tough court to play on, so it makes me really happy looking back at how grateful I can be about how well it’s gone here in Halle and how difficult it is to win here,” Federer said. “This type of third set I cannot accept. The first two are totally okay, no problem there. But I guess it happens and it’s all good from my side.”
Federer was playing just his fourth match after two surgeries on his right knee last year.
“It’s a huge challenge for me. Everybody who has been in multiple surgeries or a tough surgery knows what I’m talking about,” Federer said. “Things don’t come simple, they don’t come easy. You second-guess yourself rather quickly unfortunately, and that’s sometimes the biggest worry. The worry of pain or the worry of how you’re going to feel the next day or when you wake up, the first steps, how did they feel? All this stuff, it takes a little bit of a toll on you sometimes.”
Federer finished with 28 winners to 25 unforced errors and just 5 aces. Meanwhile, his 15 aces with 37 winners and just 15 unforced.
“It’s a great victory, it’s good for my confidence. It was already a great challenge for me to play a player like Roger, but to beat him, it’s a great thing,” Auger-Aliassime said.
“When we got to the court, when the match started it was a pretty cool moment. But then as the match went on, I was just really zoned in and locked into the moment and the match,” he added.
“Against players like him and other top players, you never know how quickly things can turn around, so I had to really maintain my focus.”
Auger-Aliassime will now meet American Marcus Giron in the quarterfinals. Giron ousted the man who beat Daniil Medvedev, Jan-Lennard Struff.
Andrey Rublev and German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber also advanced.
Tomorrow, Alexander Zverev returns to meet Ugo Humbert and Kei Nishikori takes on young American Sebastian Korda.
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