Federer out with a whimper at Open
Roger Federer is out at the US Open.
Relegated off the Arthur Ashe Stadium court for the first time in seven years due to weather issues that plagued the day, Federer played sloppy, error-prone tennis in a quick 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 loss to Spain's Tommy Robredo.
This play-by-play of a third-set Federer service game pretty well sums it up:
Error. Error. Error. Error. Break. Federer? Does not compute.— Tom Perrotta (@TomPerrotta) September 2, 2013
With his back to the wall at 4-5 in the third set and Robredo serving, Federer nearly swung and missed at a return off Robredo's second serve. The ball landed in the stands behind him. On match point, Federer guessed completely wrong on Robredo's serve, bouncing out side as the ball sailed up the middle for the winner:
Robredo had never beaten Federer in 10 previous tries. Here is what it feels like to snap that skid:
Fans with tickets to Louis Armstrong Stadium will probably consider it a bonus. The match was unexpectedly moved to that court in the middle of the day due to the rain, leaving a massive line of people outside the stadium hoping to grab a seat.
On his way out of the court, Federer had a sea of supporters to get through:
As we searched for things to attribute to the loss, the notion that the sudden change of venue hurt Federer floated around. The Swiss dispelled that notion in the post-match press conference.
"I've been practicing on Armstrong, so there's no excuse there," Federer said.
He added that he was actually excited to be playing on the smaller court and was hoping to capitalize on the more intimate atmosphere with the fans.
"Unfortunately, I didn't show the game that they could really get into it and get excited about it," he said. "That's how it goes sometimes."
Federer was in the same quarter of the draw with No. 2 seed and rival Rafael Nadal. The two would've met in the next round if both won. Nadal defeated Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7, 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 later in the evening.
It's been a long summer for Federer, who added lesser tournaments to his calendar and tried out a new, larger racket after suffering perhaps his most shocking loss ever, a second-rounder at Wimbledon to unseeded Sergiy Stakhovsky. That loss snapped a streak of 36 consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals reached.
(Photos via AP and USA Today Sports)