Roger Federer‘s extraordinary run of 36 straight quarter finals was ended in spectacular fashion on Day 3 of the championships. With an outstanding display of grass court tennis, Sergiy Stakhovsky pulled off one of the biggest shocks in Wimbledon history with a 6-7 7-6 7-5 7-6 win.
The pair traded tiebreaks with neither player getting much in the way of return. Every time Stakhovsky looked in danger he would manage to pull out a big serve or clutch volley to save the situation. Federer was far from his best, failing to take advantage of the many net approaches from the Ukrainian but there was no doubt that Stakhovsky’s fearless play was unsettling the seven time champion. Federer would fend off a break point at 3-3 but couldn’t repeat the trick at 5-5 as Stakhovsky broke for the first time in the match. He went 0-15 down to begin serving for the set but it was of little consequence as the underdog took a 2-1 lead.
Although Federer would recover from a break down in the fourth to force his opponent to serve twice to stay in the set, he could not take advantage. An opportunity to force a decider at 5-6 *30-40 was missed and so a third tiebreak would be needed to decide the fate of the pair. A stunning backhand down the line from Stakhovsky gave him a *3-1 lead in the tiebreak, which he would hold on to until 6-4. Federer would hit a stunning return to set up the backhand pass but couldn’t save the second, with an errant backhand ending the match.
The Stakhovsky victory took much of the attention off what was an outstanding and entertaining performance from Dustin Brown over Lleyton Hewitt. The German qualified for the tournament and has continued his excellent form. It was a great display of attacking tennis with the more than occasional moment of brilliance. Hewitt had put the pressure through out the first but came up short himself, serving to stay in the set. A diving volley on his first break point of the match would give him the set.
Brown showed at times why he is ranked so low with the occasional poor service game, with one to begin the second and would find himself a break down early but showed off his massive forehand to soon pull it back. In a carbon copy of the first, Brown once again got hot on return and would break the Hewitt serve to love to take a two set lead. Brown really should have closed it out in the third but blew a 3-1 tie break lead, losing six straight points in a row and with it the set. However Brown was not to be denied, making no mistake in the fourth, breaking twice to earn the 6-4 6-4 6-7 6-2 victory.
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