Roger Federer suffered a setback in his preparations for Wimbledon after crashing Wednesday in the second round of the ATP turf tournament in Halle.
Federer, who will try to win a ninth title at Wimbledon starting on June 28, suffered a shock 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 loss to 20-year-old Canadian Felix Auger Aliassime, who is almost half of Switzerland. . ‘ age.
“It’s amazing, for sure I wasn’t expecting it,” said Auger Aliassime Eurosport after beating one of his heroes on his first attempt on the ATP Tour.
“I wanted to win, but Roger Federer is my idol and it was a huge honor to play him.”
Federer is exactly 19 years older than Auger Aliassime, as the couple share the same birthday on August 8. Federer is 40 this year.
“I always thought he would be gone by the time I joined the tour,” admitted the Canadian, who turned pro in 2017.
“I was a little nervous when I realized I could win, but I was playing really well, almost perfect tennis.”
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Federer withdrew from the fourth round of Roland Garros last week to rest more after two right knee operations in 2020 and a year of rehabilitation.
Halle is his traditional warm-up on grass before playing at Wimbledon and he won the tournament near Bielefeld for the tenth time in 2019.
With the 2020 tournament having been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Federer was the reigning champion in Halle.
However, despite losing the first set, Auger Aliassime, ranked 21st in the world, showed no sign of intimidation by Federer, who has won 20 Grand Slam tournaments.
The Canadian had 13 aces and had 15 break points, of which he managed to hide only three.
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Federer, who had said he needed ten games to prepare for Wimbledon, won the first set with ease but struggled from there.
He quickly started working in the second set as Auger Aliassime converted his fourth break point to go up 4-2 and then served to tie the game in one set.
It was one-sided traffic in the deciding set as Auger Aliassime beat Federer to take a 3-0 lead and ultimately converted the first of his three match points.
In the quarter-finals, the Canadian will face either the German Jan-Lennard Struff, who eliminated seed Daniil Medvedev in the first round, or the American qualifier Marcos Giron.
With Federer absent, that means German Alexander Zverev and Russian Andrey Rublev are the only seeds remaining in Halle’s draw.
Auger Aliassime is hoping to win the first ATP title of his career at Halle after losing all of his last eight finals, including last week’s turf tournament in Stuttgart.