Geneva, May 18
World No. 75 Pablo Andujar upset Roger Federer on the Swiss superstar’s ATP Tour return today at the Geneva Open. Andujar bounced back from 2-4 down in the deciding set to win 6-4 4-6 6-4 over one hour and 52 minutes in front of a small crowd.
Federer, who was playing his first match since March 11, saw his 32-match winning streak on Swiss soil come to an end as Andujar recorded just the fifth top-10 win of his career.
Federer initially struggled for groundstroke depth, but started to move well and threw off the shackles 46 minutes into the match with his first break of serve. He lost just four of his service points in the second set and thereafter posed a threat to Andujar’s serve before a tense finale.
The 35-year-old Andujar placed his serve and capitalised on Federer’s shorter groundstroke depth in the early stages. Although Federer’s movement improved, groundstroke errors cost the Swiss at 4-5 when Andujar wrapped up the 38-minute opener.
It wasn’t until the third game of the second set that Federer created his first break point off a forehand winner. With a 2-1 advantage, Federer grew in confidence and started to impose his all-court game. He finished the set with a flourish, striking a backhand winner to carry the momentum into the decider.
Federer began to play inside the baseline and flicked a crosscourt forehand winner to break for a 2-1 lead in the third set. With the finish line in sight, Federer struggled to land a first serve and Andujar broke back to 4-4 with a forehand winner. Federer saved two match points, but at the third Andujar claimed a memorable win in their first ATP meeting.
Earlier, 18-year-old Swiss prospect Dominic Stephan Stricker beat former US Open champion Marin Cilic 7-6 (5) 6-1 in the first round. — Agencies
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