Thu, Mar 18, 2010 - Page 20 News List

Federer crashes to shock Indian Wells defeat

REUTERS , INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

Marcos Baghdatis celebrates beating Roger Federer at the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday in Indian Wells, California.

PHOTO: AFP

Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis celebrated the greatest victory of his career after upsetting world No. 1 Roger Federer 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 in the third round of the Indian Wells ATP tournament on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old from Limassol, who had lost to the Swiss master in all six of their previous meetings, saved three match points before clinching the decisive tiebreak 7-4.

Baghdatis, beaten by Federer in four sets at the 2006 Australian Open final, kissed the ground in celebration after his opponent failed to return a powerful first serve.

The Cypriot’s win against the 16-time grand slam champion earned him a place in the fourth round against Spaniard Tommy Robredo, who beat Israel’s Dudi Sela 6-3, 6-0.

“A lot of emotions are going through right now,” the 27th-ranked Baghdatis told reporters. “It’s the best win of my career. I lost a lot of matches against those top guys, and it’s a relief to win a match like that. It’s a great moment for me.”

Federer, beaten for only the second time in 13 matches this year and playing his first tournament since winning the Australian Open in January, reflected on the fine line between victory and defeat.

“I just couldn’t find the way to win,” he said after losing the third-set tiebreak 7-4. “I was maybe one shot away. That’s how much it takes sometimes from winning or losing. That’s why you can’t say I played a bad match, and if I win I’m going to tell you it’s a good match. It was a decent match, but maybe wrong choices at the wrong time for me.”

American Andy Roddick booked his place in the fourth round with a clinical 6-3, 6-4 win against Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker, where he was joined by fourth seed Andy Murray, who suffered a late wobble before beating American Michael Russell 6-3, 7-5.

Murray, beaten in last year’s final by Spain’s Rafael Nadal, appeared to be cruising to a routine victory when he led by a set and 5-2 in the second, but Russell offered dogged resistance to extend the Scot who was not at his best.

Russell played an inspired game to break Murray’s serve and claw back to 5-5 but the 31-year-old American faltered at 5-6 and netted a backhand down at match point.

Roddick broke his opponent once in each set and will next meet Austrian Jurgen Melzer.

In the women’s doubles Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan and China’s Zheng Jie reached the semi-finals with an impressive straight sets win over Cara Black of Zimbabwe and Liezel Huber of the US.

Chan and Zheng beat the top-seeds 7-6(5), 6-2 and face Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia for a place in the final.

Black and Huber are one of the most successful duos in the women’s game, having claimed four grand slam titles.

By contrast Chan and Zheng have only played together once, when they won the Malaysian Open title in Kuala Lumpur last month.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER

This story has been viewed 1710 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top