Tennis is known to be a very unpredictable game. The Dubai Championships had a surprise in store for its Federer fans—but not a pleasant one. The third seed suffered a shocking three-set defeat to world-ranked 116 Evgeny Donskoy.
Roger Federer recently made a heroic comeback in the Grand Slams this year after a dry spell. He won his 18th Grand Slam title in the Australian Open, retaining his position as the winner of most Grand Slams in the Open Era in men’s singles.
But the Swiss was stunned by the Russian qualifier to sweep away the match in a 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/5) victory. Since 2007, this was the third time that Federer has been ousted by a qualifier. The Swiss legend was chasing a record eighth title at the Dubai Championships.
“I surprised everyone today. I think whoever wins against Roger surprises himself,” said the 26-year-old Donskoy.
Federer did not give any excuses for the defeat and said that leg injury he suffered during the Australian Open had nothing to do with his performance on court. “I just never really got going tonight and sort of felt heavy. But look, those matches happen frequently, where you just got to somehow find a way to come through,” said Federer post match.