Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Federer out as Tsitsipas Ushers in a Changing of the Guard

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Federer out as Tsitsipas Ushers in a Changing of the Guard

Article excerpt

ROGER Federer's winning run at the Australian Open ended with "massive regrets" after his loss to 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The Greek, who was not born when Federer made his professional debut, has rapidly established himself as one of the most exciting up-andcoming talents in the game and backed it up spectacularly with a 6-7 (11) 7-6 (3) 7-5 7-6 (5) victory to move through to a first grand slam quarter-final.

Federer had not lost a match at Melbourne Park since a semi-final defeat to Novak Djokovic in 2016 but his often brilliant forehand was wayward, especially at the big moments, and he failed to take four set points in the second set which might well have changed the outcome.

The 37-year-old saw 12 break points come and go in the match and he made no attempt to hide what a hurtful defeat it was, saying: "I have massive regrets tonight.

"I felt like I have to win the second set.

"I don't care how I do it but I have to do it. It cost me the game tonight.

"I lost to a better player who was playing very well. He hung in there, gave himself chances at some point, stayed calm. It's not always easy, especially for younger guys. Credit to him for taking care of that."

Tsitsipas grew up idolising Federer and there was certainly something of the young Swiss in his opponent, from the flowing single-handed backhand, the willingness to charge the net and the confidence to believe he could beat his childhood idol, just as Federer did to Pete Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001.

"He has a one-handed backhand and I used to have long hair too," said Federer pithily. "So maybe a little bit (similar), sure."

John McEnroe declared the result to be a changing of the guard but Federer is clearly not about to hand over the mantle just yet and announced he had decided to play on clay this year after missing the French Open for the last three years. …

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