Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis defeated World number one Roger Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) in the Miami Open second round on Saturday.
It was the second loss in a week for the 20-time Grand slam winner, who was defeated by Juan Martin del Potro in the Indian Wells final and is set to lose his no. 1 ranking to Rafael Nadal.
Ranked 175th, Kokkinakis finished of the match by using deadly top-spin and claimed a victory in front of a shocked house-full crowd. This was the first time Kokkinakis was facing the veteran Swiss, and was in complete joy after the match.
“This is nuts,” he told reporters.
“I’ve trained with him a lot of times. I took what I learned from him and sort of kinda of knew how he played a little bit and just played my game and executed,” the Australian added.
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Federer was in control of the game as usual after he destroyed Kokkinakis in the fourth game of the opening set. The Aussie displayed steady character and handled the situation with extreme maturity and passion to go toe-to-toe with the 36-year-old Federer. Kokkinakis dominated the tiebreak, thanks to his stamina and off the ball body movement.
The Australians present in the crowd celebrated as Kokkinakis screamed in joy after the massive victory as Federer walked off the Crandon Park court for the final time.
“Honestly, in the third set anything could have happened,” Federer told reporters.
“I felt like the third could be a tricky one, of course. I feel like every time I had chances, something bad happened for me, wrong decision making by me, good decision making by him. It’s disappointing,” added Federer.
21-year-old Kokkinakis was born in Australia to Greek parents. Wildcard helped him to get into Miami qualifiers, but he took on the charge and displayed his sheer talent and kept improving as the match progressed.