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Federer loses in Wimbledon quarterfinals

Federer en route to a surprise defeat to Tomas Berdych

Top seed and defending champion Roger Federer has been beaten by 12th-seeded Tomas Berdych 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 at Wimbledon.

This content was published on June 30, 2010 - 18:47

It is the first time he has not reached the final in southwest London since 2002. With the loss, he is expected to drop to number three in the ATP rankings next week for the first time since 2003.

Speaking after the match Federer complained of pain in his legs and back.

He said he had been suffering from a leg problem since the Halle tournament and had a stiff back for the past five or six days. Although he was not injured, the pain was uncomfortable and stopped him moving freely around the court.

“That did not allow me to play as I would have liked. It's frustrating. I have not been feeling great since the first two or three matches,” he said.

“Considering the circumstances I think I played a good match. But I was not so good at defending and I did not deliver good shots when they were needed."

Federer started his campaign for a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title shakily: in the first round he had to come from two sets down to beat 65th-ranked Alejandro Falla.

He then needed four sets to dispatch Ilija Bozoljac, ranked 152 in the world, in the second round. After that he moved up a gear and won his next two matches without dropping a set.

In the quarterfinal Berdych however was simply too powerful. He was on the offensive for most of the match, hitting 51 winners, compared to 44 for Federer, and breaking Federer four times. The decisive break came in the seventh game of the fourth set.

Kick-start?

Going into the match, Federer led Berdych 8-2 head to head, but the last time they met was in Miami where Berdych won.

The 24-year-old Czech, who reached the semifinals of the French Open last month, will play Novak Djokovic, who swept past Yen-hsun Lu in straight sets. Berdych’s previous best performance at Wimbledon was reaching the quarterfinals in 2007.

Federer who has reached a record seven consecutive Wimbledon finals, was trying to match Pete Sampras with seven titles at southwest London.

Despite Wednesday's defeat, he remained upbeat. “I already can’t wait to come back to Paris and London next year. I am going to have a rest, two weeks holiday, and come back on the offensive in North America,” he said later.

Federer had been hoping that a Centre Court victory could kick-start his season.

Although he has won a record 16 grand slam titles, including the 2010 Australian Open in February, he has not won a tournament since Australia.

"In Australia I really played some of the best tennis of my life," he said. "I've been disappointed I wasn't able to carry on. I know my game, my body and everything so well that I really expected to take off and just go on a tear on that."

It is the first time since 2001 that Federer had come to Wimbledon with only one tournament victory under his belt. The world tennis number two was knocked out in the French Open quarterfinals last month by Robin Söderling of Sweden.

That defeat ended Federer's streak of reaching the semifinals in 23 consecutive major events. It also cost him his number one spot, which went to Spaniard Rafael Nadal.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

In brief

In 2001 Federer ended Pete Sampras's 31-match winning streak at Wimbledon in the fourth round of the tournament.

By winning Wimbledon in 2003, Federer joined Stefan Edberg, Pat Cash and Björn Borg as the only players to win both the juniors' and men's Wimbledon championships.

Federer won five consecutive men's singles titles at Wimbledon (2003-2007), a feat only ever accomplished by Borg.

Pete Sampras holds the record for the total number of Wimbledon wins in the modern era with seven.

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