The biggest upset on Friday afternoon in Melbourne took place on Rod Laver Arena, where 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer suffered a shocking defeat to Andreas Seppi to crash out of the tournament before the fourth round.
Seppi, who held a 0-10 record against Federer prior to this encounter, withstood 15 aces from the former champion and broke serve three times to close out the mach in four sets 6-4, 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(5). Federer, who was dealing with the difficult conditions out on court, hit 9 double faults along with his 55 unforced errors to contribute to his demise in Melbourne.
The match came with twists and turns, particularly in the second set, where Federer worked his way from a break down to a tiebreaker, led 4-1, then squandered it to hand the Italian a two-set lead in the match. Nothing was the same after that. With the shadow covering half the court in Melbourne, Federer was unable to serve properly in the fourth set and eventually lost a second tiebreaker to Seppi, who finished the match with a miraculous passing shot.
“I wish I could have played better, but clearly it was tough losing the first two, you know,” a dejected Federer said after the match. “Had chances to get back into it. I let it slip, I mean, both times in some ways. I guess I won the wrong points out there today. I knew how important that second set tiebreaker was, so clearly that hurt, losing that one. The end wasn’t pretty, you know. It wasn’t easy to play with the shadow. But it was the same for both of us. Just a disappointing loss, you know.”
The loss to Seppi snaps Federer’s remarkable semi-final streak in Melbourne, which began in 2004 and extended until 2014.
Federer began his 2015 season with a title victory in Brisbane, which included wins over James Duckworth, Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic. Given his current form, and the fact that he had only dropped one set to Seppi prior to their meeting on Friday, this is easily the biggest upset of the year so far.