Sensational Seppi dumps Federer in Australian Open upset

Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:13am EST
 
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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...

 
Andreas Seppi of Italy celebrates after defeating Roger Federer of Switzerland in their men's singles third round match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 23, 2015.      REUTERS/Issei Kato