Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Seven-time champion Roger Federer was
a shocking second-round loser on a bizarre Wednesday at Wimbledon.
Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky, ranked 116th in the world, stunned the third-
seeded former world No. 1 star and reigning titlist in four sets, 6-7 (5-7),
7-6 (7-5), 7-5, 7-6 (7-5), on the famed Centre Court at the All England Club.
The stunner came just two days after 135th-ranked Belgian Steve Darcis shocked
two-time Wimbledon champ and reigning French Open king Rafael Nadal on the
Displaying some classic serve-and-volley tennis, Stakhovsky baffled Federer
for most of the match and dazzled the Swiss icon with some outstanding shot-
making on Day 3.
Stakhovsky ultimately converted on his second match point when the 31-year-old
Federer misfired wide on one final backhand.
The 27-year-old Stakhovsky had been 0-20 in his previous matches against
top-10 players. He was a first-round loser in his last four Grand Slam events
prior to this fortnight.
Federer's record streak of reaching 36 consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals
came to an end. This was his earliest exit at a Grand Slam since a first-round
loss at the 2003 French Open.
The amazing Federer hadn't lost to a player outside the top 100 since 2005
(Richard Gasquet) and this was the earliest exit by a defending champion at
Wimbledon since Lleyton Hewitt lost in the opening round in 2003.
The 17-time Grand Slam king Federer beat Andy Murray in last year's Wimbledon
finale to tie Pete Sampras for the most men's titles here in the Open Era.
Meanwhile, the heavy British crowd favorite Murray eased into the third
round, while no less than five men succumbed to injuries on Day 3,
including sixth-seeded French star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The second-seeded Murray managed to avoid the Day-3 carnage with a 6-3, 6-3,
7-5 handling of overmatched Taiwanese Yen-Hsun Lu on Court 1.
Murray was last year's Wimbledon runner-up to Federer and then beat the Swiss
great in last year's Olympic gold-medal match here at the AEC. The British
star is the reigning U.S. Open champ and was this year's Australian Open
runner-up to current world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
The 26-year-old Murray is trying to give Britain its first men's Wimbledon
singles champion in 77 years.
The former Aussie Open runner-up Tsonga, who reached Wimbledon semifinals each
of the last two years, was trailing capable Latvian Ernests Gulbis 3-6, 6-3,
6-3 when he quit because of an apparent knee issue on an injury-filled
Meanwhile, 10th-seeded recent Queen's Club grass-court runner-up Marin Cilic
was scheduled to meet Frenchman Kenny De Schepper, but decided against playing
due to a left knee injury, while 6-foot-10 18th-seeded American John Isner was
battling Frenchman Adrian Mannarino when he retired at 1-1 in the first set,
also citing a left knee injury.
"I would say (it's a) very black day," Cilic said of all the injury
withdrawals. "The other days, other weeks, there were no pullouts. Everything
just happened today."
Isner hurt his knee early in his match against Mannarino, took an injury
timeout and called it quits after two games.
The towering American, of course, is best known at the All England Club for
playing the longest match in tennis history three years ago with a five-set
marathon in the first round against Nicolas Mahut. The 11-hour, 5-minute epic
took three days to complete because of rain and darkness, ending with a 70-68
score in the final set.
Fifteenth-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro steered clear of any problems by
holding off Frenchman Guillaume Rufin 7-5, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 6-4.
Also pulling out were the other giant-killer Darcis and Czech veteran Radek
Darcis posted one of the biggest upsets in Wimbledon history on Monday when he
shocked Nadal in straight sets. But he was unable to face Poland's Lukasz
Kubot because of a right shoulder injury on Wednesday.
"Had to withdrawn after a win like this!?THE most difficult thing i had to
do!!!#triedeverythingtoplaybutdidntwork!!!!" Darcis wrote on his Twitter
Stepanek was losing to 6-foot-8, 24th-seeded Pole Jerzy Janowicz 6-2, 5-3 when
he retired from their match due to a thigh injury.
Veteran 20th-seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny overcame promising Canadian Vasek
Pospisil 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (9-7), 3-6, 6-4; 22nd-seeded Argentine Juan
Monaco came back to beat American Rajeev Ram 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2; rising 25th-
seeded Frenchman Benoit Paire subdued fellow countryman Stephane Robert 6-4,
7-5, 6-4; Spanish left-hander Fernando Verdasco erased 31st-seeded Frenchman
Julien Benneteau 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-4), 6-4; and 32nd-seeded former top-10
Spaniard Tommy Robredo bested the aforementioned Mahut 7-6 (7-3), 6-1, 7-6
Also on Wednesday, Serb Viktor Troicki topped Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 6-4,
6-3, 6-4, Austrian southpaw Jurgen Melzer downed German Julian Reister 3-6,
7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, and German Dustin Brown doused the 2002 Wimbledon
champ and former world No. 1 Hewitt 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2.
"I cried like a little girl," Brown said after beating the two-time major
The second round is scheduled to conclude on Thursday, including a match for
the reigning Aussie Open champion and 2011 Wimbledon titlist Djokovic, who
will take on American journeyman Bobby Reynolds.
Other top-10 seeds on the Day-4 slate are No. 4 French Open runner-up
David Ferrer, No. 7 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych, No. 8
former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, and No. 9 Frenchman Richard
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