MIAMI, March 24, 2018
Thanasi Kokkinakis stuns the defending champion Roger Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) in Saturday’s second round of the Miami Open presented by Itaú.
The Australian qualifier won two points less than the World No. 1 but capitalized on his first match point in the tie-break of the final set to secure victory after two hours and 21 minutes.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 24. März 2018
175th ranked Kokkinakis is the lowest-ranked player, who beat a World No. 1 since 178th ranked Francisco Clavet defeated Lleyton Hewitt here at Crandon Park in 2003.
“This is nuts,” said Kokkinakis. “It’s an unreal week for me. I’ve trained with [Federer] a bunch of times and he’s a great role model for the sport, but I took what I learned and played my game and executed. I didn’t put a lot of scoreboard pressure on him, but when I’m playing on my terms I don’t feel there are too many people that can go with me. I just needed to play my game and aggressive tennis.”
Next up for Kokkinakis will be Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco.
Federer, who has lost two consecutive matches for the first time since 2014, will also lose his World No. 1 spot to Rafael Nadal.
“It’s disappointing,” Federer said. “Don’t know why I could never get to any level that I was happy with today. Sometimes you have these matches. Sometimes you find a way through. I just couldn’t get it done today.
“Honestly, in the third set anything could have happened. I feel like I wasn’t feeling good. The ball, I wasn’t feeling. With my movement, things weren’t absolutely working.
“I felt like the third could be a tricky one, of course. I feel like every time I had chances, something bad happened for me, wrong decision making by me, good decision making by him. Who knows what happened. It just felt like I could be paying the price for opportunities missed.”
The 36-year-old confirmed that he will skip the clay court season, returning to the tour at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle.
Photo Gallery (by Brigitte Urban):