No sooner did Roger Federer claim his 85th career title on the tour than he suffers an unceremonious opening round exit as the top seed at the Mutua Madrid Masters event. The former four-time champion suffered a tight three-set loss to rising Aussie star Nick Kyrgios.
In what turned out to be an enthralling encounter on the tour, Kyrgios was able to save several match points to eventually snatch the deciding points in the third set tiebreak. He won the contest 6-7(2), 7-6(5), 7-6(12).
“Before the match I didn’t feel nervous or anything like that,” said Kyrgios. “I was just excited to get out to the court. I’ve been playing well recently on the clay, so I knew I had a good chance to go out there and do well. I stuck to my game and served well and I got the win.”
Although Federer was far from his worst, he admitted that he was simply unable to return Nick’s monster first serves.
“My problem was I couldn’t return his first serve,” said Federer, who won 18 of 85 first serve return points. “[It] was just a horrible performance on the return.
“As the match went on it got so bad that I just couldn’t get into decent positions on the return, so it made it very difficult to get any sort of rhythm after that.
“But credit to him for serving well and keep doing what he was doing. But I’m very disappointed by that. That’s what cost me the match, in my opinion.”
Federer now holds a 21-4 record on the tour this year, with three titles to his name, including one last week in Istanbul.