Sensational Seppi dumps Federer in Australian Open upset
By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Italian Andreas Seppi sent shockwaves through the Australian Open on Friday as he toppled four-times champion Roger Federer in one of the greatest Melbourne Park upsets in recent memory.
Ranked 46th in the world and on a 23-match losing streak against top-10 opponents, the 30-year-old Seppi jumped out to a two-set lead and weathered the inevitable comeback to triumph 6-4 7-6(5) 4-6 7-6(5) in the thrilling third round encounter played out before a heaving Rod Laver Arena.
With the terraces shrieking through the decisive tiebreaker, Seppi was superb in the nerve-jangling clinches, and his lunging forehand passing shot that kissed the line and sealed the match will be a feature on highlight reels for years to come.
"I just tried to enjoy to play center court again," the unshaven Italian said in a courtside interview after ending Federer's 13-year run to the last 16 at Melbourne Park.
"I just tried to do my best and I think it was one of the best matches (of my career).
"It was great to play in front of a full stadium."
Seppi had lost all 10 of his previous matches against the second-seeded Swiss, who was also riding a 22-match winning streak against Italian opposition.
Having lived dangerously in the second round with a four-set win over another Italian in Simone Bolelli, 33-year-old Federer was off-color from the start, shanking wild forehands well outside the lines and failing to convert a raft of break-points on a glorious, sunny day. Continued...