First of all, I am still “recovering” from the huge disappointment I have (as a fan) with Roger Federer’s monumental loss in the 2nd round of Wimbledon 2013, to Sergiy Stakhovsky, who is a journeyman tennis player (at best).
After 36 consecutive Grand Slam QuarterFinals over 9 years (I repeat, 9 years!), the streak comes to an end.
Some quick thoughts:
– Am amazed at the equanimity with which Federer has handled this devastating loss
– Do you think Stakhovsky has a good story to tell his grandchildren? Who broke what is the most remarkable of all of Federer’s numerous records? “Me, Stakhovsky!”
– The tennis landscape is soo deep nowadays and the Big4 has been so consistent over the past few years that people lose sight of the fact that if a top player is slightly below his standards and the opponent have a brilliant day, anything can happen. Let us not allow the remarkable consistency of the Top4 to mask the basic fact that Tennis, as a true global sport, is ultra-competitive.
I am sure Federer will be wondering “What next?” over the next few days/weeks/months.
I sure hope that he does not linger on and on and keep losing to the guys like this.
http://gattokaran.com/2012/07/09/why-i-think-roger-federer-should-retire-right-now/ (I wrote this right after Federer won Wimbledon 2012 and rose to No:1, for what must surely be the last time he will be No:1)
For 9 years, Federer did not lose to folks other than other all-time greats, Grand Slam winners and big-hitters (Tsonga, Berdych, Soderling).
I hope it now not the turn of “Ranking 100-1000” folks to get their chance at the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT)! 🙂
Is this the greatest upset in Tennis? Hardly, IMHO. I can think of the following which should rank higher:
– Pete Sampras, as 4-time defending champion, going down to Richard Krajicek in Wimbledon 1996, while Sampras was at his absolute peak
– Rafael Nadal, as 4-time defending champion, going down to Robin Soderling in French Open 2009, while Nadal was at his absolute peak and having won 3 of the previous 4 Grand Slams
Yes, Federer losing in the 2nd round in a Grand Slam where his record over the past 10 years: 7 Wins, 1 Finals, 2 QF, is remarkable. But not the biggest upset IMHO.