Six-time Wimbledon champ Federer upset in quarterfinals by No. 12 Berdych

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Associated Press
Thursday, July 1, 2010
— Roger Federer covered his face with both hands, no doubt wishing he were doing anything at that moment other than dissecting his latest earlier-than-expected Grand Slam exit.

This one came at Wimbledon, no less—the tournament that he loves more than any other, that he ruled for so long.

After all the victories, all the championships, all the records, Federer now must deal with a new streak: The owner of 16 major titles, the man widely considered the best player in tennis history, has lost two consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals in the span of a month, both against opponents who have yet to win a single such trophy.

Federer arrived at the All England Club aiming to reach the final for the eighth year in a row and win a record-tying seventh title. Instead, he leaves before the semifinals, beaten 6-4, 3-6,

6-1, 6-4 Wednesday by No. 12 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.

On June 1, Federer lost in the French Open quarterfinals as the defending champion there, too, putting an end to his unprecedented 23 consecutive appearances in major semifinals.

“God, I can’t wait for Paris and Wimbledon to come around next year again, that’s for sure, because they’ve been frustrating tournaments for me, even though it wasn’t too bad. Quarters is a decent result,” Federer said, as if trying to convince himself along with everyone else.

“Obviously, people think quarters is shocking, but people would die to play in quarterfinal stages of Grand Slam play,” he added, fidgeting during his news conference. “It’s not something I’m used to doing—losing in quarterfinals—because it’s not something I’ve done in the last six years.”

Indeed, he participated in 18 of 19 major finals from 2005-10. His dominance at Wimbledon is even more pronounced: Until Wednesday, Federer was 51-1 at the tournament since the start of the 2003 edition.

Federer placed at least some of the blame for this loss on two previously undisclosed health issues: a bothersome back and right thigh.

“I couldn’t play the way I wanted to play,” said Federer, whose defeat guarantees he will drop to

No. 3 in the rankings for the first time since November 2003, according to the ATP.

He said his leg and back have bothered him since the grass-court tournament in Halle, Germany, where Federer lost to Lleyton Hewitt in the final a week before Wimbledon started. Before that match, Federer had won 76 of his last 77 matches on grass. Now he’s lost two of six.

Berdych also beat Federer at Key Biscayne, Fla., in March, after losing to him eight times in a row.

Berdych next faces No. 3 Novak Djokovic on Friday. Djokovic advanced to his second Wimbledon semifinal with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over 82nd-ranked Yen-hsun Lu of Taiwan, who upset Andy Roddick in the fourth round.

Also Friday, Rafael Nadal—ranked No. 1, seeded No. 2—will meet No. 4 Andy Murray, who is trying to become the first British man to win Wimbledon since 1936.

Murray got past No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 6-2, 6-2 to reach the semifinals for the second straight year.

Nadal beat No. 6 Robin Soderling, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-1, in a rematch of the French Open final, which also was won by the Spaniard.

As for Federer, he won’t even watch this Wimbledon final on TV. He summed up his immediate plans this way: “Two weeks’ vacation.”

Last updated: 2:35 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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