Federer falls to Stakhovsky

LONDON - Seven-time winner Roger Federer suffered a humiliating Wimbledon defeat on an injury-cursed Wednesday which turned the All England Club upside down.
Defending champion Federer, the third seed, lost to Ukraine's world number 116, Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5), 7-5, 7-6 (7/5) in his worst Grand Slam defeat for a decade.

Federer's defeat ended his run of 36 consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances, having not gone out of a major before the last eight since the 2004 French Open.

It was his earliest Wimbledon defeat since he was knocked out in the first round in 2002 by Mario Ancic.

The following year he lost in the first round of the French Open to Luis Horna.

"I'm still in disbelief that it actually happened," 27-year-old Stakhovsky said.

Federer, who will be 31 next month, said: "I won't panic. I will go back to work. This wasn't supposed to happen but I will be back next year."

Federe's defeat came just two days after Rafael Nadal had exited in the first round.

It also occurred on a day when the famed grass-courts of Wimbledon came under fire after seven players either withdrew or retired with injuries.

Men's sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was one of the high-profile casualties. The Frenchman quit his match with Latvia's Ernests Gulbis with a knee injury at the end of the third set.

Also withdrawing were Steve Darcis, the conqueror of Nadal, and Croatian 10th seed Marin Cilic.

John Isner and Radek Stepanek both quit during their second round matches.

Meanwhile, Murray emerged unscathed as the world number two eased into the third round with a 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 win over Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun.

Tsonga and Cilic were Murray's most likely quarterfinal opponents.

Murray hit 41 winners and served 11 aces to set up a last 32 clash with Spanish 32nd seed Tommy Robredo.

"I thought I kept my concentration well on serve and gave him very few opportunities after the first set," Murray said.

Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt was dumped out by German qualifier Dustin Brown, the dreadlocked former Jamaica player winning 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2. - Agencies