07 July 2021

Hubert Hurkacz stuns Roger Federer at Wimbledon

07 July 2021

Roger Federer’s hopes of winning a ninth Wimbledon title were ended by a quarter-final loss to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz.

The 39-year-old had played himself into form through the first week at the All England Club to raise hopes of an improbable trophy run after two knee operations and a month short of his 40th birthday.

But Hurkacz is a top-20 player and 15 years Federer’s junior, and was simply too good on the day for his opponent, who suffered a straight-sets loss at Wimbledon for the first time in 19 years.

After a poor first set in breezy conditions, Federer led 4-1 in the second but he could not find his timing and Hurkacz kept his wonderfully to win 6-3 7-6 (4) 6-0, handing the Swiss his first ever bagel at Wimbledon.

Hurkacz, who has been compared to Andy Murray, was playing in his first grand slam quarter-final and talked glowingly after his fourth-round victory about his opponent, but he did a superb job of not playing the occasion.

Hurkacz won the biggest title of his career in Miami in April but had slumped alarmingly since, losing six straight matches heading into Wimbledon.

He had only won four tour-level matches on grass prior to this tournament but recovered from two sets to one down against second seed Daniil Medvedev on Tuesday, finishing the match under the roof on Centre Court.

He settled quickly into the match and broke the Federer serve in the sixth game before clinching the opening set.

Federer’s timing was off but he made the perfect start to the second set with a break of the Hurkacz serve when the 14th seed double faulted.

Federer saved three break points to hold for 3-0 but he still did not look comfortable and it was no surprise when Hurkacz broke back in the seventh game.

The tie-break was huge for both men, and a very untimely slip on an easy volley left Federer 4-2 down and proved very costly.

The eight-time champion had not come from two sets down to win a match for five years, and the crowd willed their hero on, but Hurkacz was simply far too good for this Federer.

Hurkacz wrapped up victory in an hour and 49 minutes, becoming the second Polish man to reach the semi-finals at a grand slam after Jerzy Janowicz here eight years ago.

“It’s super special for me,” he said. “Playing on this special court against Roger, it’s a dream come true.”

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