Don­skoy sends Fed­erer pack­ing

New Straits Times - - Sport -

DUBAI: Roger Fed­erer blamed a lack of com­mit­ment for his shock 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(5) loss to World No 116 Evgeny Don­skoy of Rus­sia in the Dubai Open sec­ond round on Wed­nes­day.

Swiss Fed­erer, play­ing his first tour­na­ment since win­ning his 18th grand slam ti­tle at the Aus­tralian Open in Jan­uary, wasted three match points in the sec­ond set and led 5-2 in the third be­fore the 26-year-old Don­skoy fought back.

Third seed Fed­erer, a sev­en­time cham­pion in Dubai, surged 5-1 ahead in the de­cid­ing tiebreaker but qual­i­fier Don­skoy reeled off six points in a row to se­cure a re­mark­able vic­tory.

“Maybe I wasn’t re­ally com­mit­ted enough, I think,” the 35-yearold Fed­erer said.

“Com­mit­ment in tennis is a big thing. To­day I wasn’t, re­ally. That sort of is a feel­ing you get and it trick­les in an en­tire game.

“Legs also felt slower out here tonight. I felt tired all day. I tried to get my­self in shape, and, you know... It’s just a tough loss tonight.

“So many chances. It was crazy. There’s no ex­cuses there.”

Fed­erer, who skipped last year’s tour­na­ment be­cause of a knee surgery which side­lined him for the back end of the sea­son, re­fused to be down­beat over his first loss of the year.

“I just think it’s still the be­gin­ning of the comeback,” said Fed­erer, who is sched­uled to play at In­dian Wells next week.

“I got to take the pos­i­tives out of play­ing again in a tour­na­ment where I feel I’m quite healthy.

“I’m happy I got over the (groin) in­jury I sus­tained at the Aus­tralian Open.”

Don­skoy will next face French sev­enth seed Lu­cas Pouille, who beat qual­i­fier Mar­ius Copil 6-1 64, in the quar­ter-fi­nals.

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