Federer loses top rank after shock Miami loss

AP
ROGER Federer lost his second consecutive match and the No. 1 ranking on Saturday.
AP
AFP

Thanasi Kokkinakis celebrates victory against top seed Roger Federer of Switzerland during their Miami Open second-round match at Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne, Florida, on Saturday. The Australian won 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4). 

ROGER Federer lost his second consecutive match and the No. 1 ranking on Saturday.

Big-serving Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, a qualifier ranked 175th, rallied to upset Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) at the Miami Open. The 36-year-old Federer had been the oldest No. 1 man ever, but he’ll lose that spot to Rafael Nadal when the new rankings come out on April 2.

“I deserve it after this match,” Federer said. “That’s how I feel.”

Kokkinakis became the lowest-ranked man to beat a No. 1 player since No. 178 Francisco Clavet upset Lleyton Hewitt in 2003 — also at Key Biscayne.

“Pretty crazy,” said Kokkinakis, 21. “I’m pretty happy about it.”

Federer now has lost back-to-back matches for the first time since 2014, a dip that comes after a career-best 17-0 start to the year. He lost to Juan Martin del Potro in the Indian Wells final last Sunday, a defeat that also came down to a winner-take-all tiebreaker.

The 6-foot-5 Kokkinakis has long been regarded as a promising talent thanks to a thunderous serve and forehand, but has been plagued by injuries. The match was his first against Federer, although they’ve practiced together.

Federer’s defeat left both No. 1 players out of the tournament. Simona Halep lost hours earlier to Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 2-6, 3-6. Eight-time women’s champion Serena Williams and six-time winner Novak Djokovic were also eliminated in their opening matches.

Federer won’t be playing to reclaim the No. 1 spot anytime soon. He said he’ll skip the upcoming clay season for the second year in a row, including the French Open.


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