Wimbledon 2021: Hubert Hurkacz beats Roger Federer in straight sets to reach the semi-finals

Wimbledon 2021: Hubert Hurkacz beats Roger Federer in straight sets to reach the semi-finals

Roger Federer suffered a straight set loss at Wimbledon for the first time since 2002 (AP)

An inspired Hubert Hurkacz produced a spectacular performance to end Roger Federer’s quest for a ninth Wimbledon title and a historic 21st Grand Slam crown with a straight set victory on center court.

In front of a sold-out crowd in the legendary arena that Federer has presided over since his first title in 2003, Hurkacz excelled, knocking down 36 winners and committing just 12 unforced errors in a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6 – 0 victory – the greatest triumph of his young career.

The outcome of Federer’s defeat came in a barely believable final set as he was shattered three times to lose a set to love at Wimbledon for the first time in 22 visits as he crashed in only one hour and 48 minutes.

World number 18 Hurkacz will face Matteo Berrettini or Felix Auger-Aliassime in the last four, while Federer can only watch Novak Djokovic is just two wins away from joining him and Rafael Nadal on 20 Grand Slam titles after his routine victory over Martin Fucsovics earlier today.

A faulty performance by Federer, which led him to be beaten in straight sets at the All-England Club for the first time since 2002 against Mario Ancic, saw him broken 10 times in total and will cast doubt on his future with its 40th birthday. grows up next month.

But for Hurkacz, playing a Grand Slam quarter-final for the first time in his career against Federer’s 53rd and 18th in Wimbledon alone, the dream of the title remains alive after dismantling his illustrious opponent and childhood idol.

“It’s super special for me. Playing on this special pitch against Roger, when you were a kid, it’s a dream come true to play it.

“To play here in front of you guys and the special things he’s done here throughout his career is a dream come true and I really thank you so much for coming here and cheering.

“I’m so happy and can’t wait to be on the next one. ”

Hubert Hurkacz after the victory over Roger Federer

Federer has more Grand Slam titles than Hurkacz has Grand Slam appearances, but the 24-year-old Pole, playing in his first major quarter-final, was not intimidated by the legend standing from the across the field as he produced a fearless demonstration. to miss a comfortable winner.

In his post-match press conference, Federer refused to be rushed into a decision about his future – his first stop likely being whether he is aiming for a first Olympic gold in singles.

“My goal has always been for the last year and even more so to always try to play another Wimbledon, I was able to do it this year, which I’m really happy about,” he said.

“With everything that comes after Wimbledon we were always going to sit down and talk about it because it’s clear now Wimbledon is over. I have to take a few days.

“Obviously we’re going to talk a bit tonight, depending on how I’m feeling, and then the next few days as well. Then we go from there.

“I’m actually very happy to have come as far as I’ve come here and have been able to play Wimbledon at the level that I did after everything I’ve been through. Of course I’d love to play it again, but at my age you’re just never sure what to expect. “

Wimbledon 2021: men’s semi-finals

Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Denis Shapovalov (10)
Berrettini / Auger-Aliassime vs. Hubert Hurkacz (14)

The unknown Hurkacz, who caused a sensation as he went from two sets to one to beat world number 2 Daniil Medvedev in a round of 16 match that extended into the women’s quarter-finals on Tuesday, did had no trouble adjusting to the competition.

It was the Pole with the first window of opportunity, and the first sign of a struggling Federer, as a double fault and two unforced errors saw Hurkacz give three break points. Five consecutive points from the older man put Federer back on track, but he had to catch up throughout the game.

Hurkacz hadn’t gone beyond the third round of a Grand Slam until this week, but he was rock solid on his own serve as Federer struggled and it was no surprise when Hurkacz did leaped to put away a volley for a 4-2 lead in the overall opening.

The pair traded the next two matches to give Hurkacz the chance to serve for the first set and a brilliant forehand winner – coupled with a pair of huge first serves – gave him the opening set in less than a half. -hour.

Hubert Hurkacz, playing his first Grand Slam semi-final, put in a sensational performance to end Federer's hopes of winning the No.21 Grand Slam title (AP)

Hubert Hurkacz, playing his first Grand Slam semi-final, put in a sensational performance to end Federer’s hopes of winning the No.21 Grand Slam title (AP)

Responding to the challenge as he has done throughout his career – and battling a gusty wind – Federer took a 3-0 lead in the second set, consolidating a break given to him by the double fault of Hurkacz with a tough grip that gave the Pole a few chances to strike back directly.

With every serve and volley, every chip and charge, Federer looked like he could gain the upper hand, but the mistakes continued to undermine the good work of the Swiss and Hurkacz regained the set when his legendary opponent gave him a break.

With Hurkacz’s serve being nearly impregnable – he had only lost the serve three times in four games heading into the quarter-finals – a tiebreaker was inevitable and Hurkacz notified his intention with a lightning forehand.

After a trade of mini-breaks gave Hurkacz the advantage, he cemented that when Federer slipped in the face of a single volley for 3-3. Instead, with a 4-2 lead, Hurkacz closed the set with the minimum of fuss and ran away.

Did Federer play his last match at Wimbledon?  (PA)

Did Federer play his last match at Wimbledon? (PA)

On 10 occasions during his career, Federer had come back from two sets, most recently on the holy turf at Wimbledon. His victory over Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals in 2016 was followed by a semi-final loss, but there was not to be a repeat.

An inspired Hurkacz was in no mood to let go and, after suppressing a response from Federer, created chances for a quick serve break in the third set. Federer saved the first, but moving freely, the Pole created opportunities at will and took a 2-0 lead when the eight-time champion threw a forehand into the net.

Hurkacz increased his streak to three, four, then five when a formidable forehand left him one game away from a spectacular victory.

Life sucked out of his challenge, Federer had no answer to his opponent. At 39, with a Grand Slam title in the past three years, there may not be too many moments on the big stage.

Federer made a series of mistakes and lost a set 6-0 for the first time at Wimbledon (AP)

Federer made a series of mistakes and lost a set 6-0 for the first time at Wimbledon (AP)

As he stepped onto the playing surface he received a standing ovation from an adoring crowd, but there was no spectacular comeback, just a third consecutive break and a decisive victory. for Hurkacz – whose Masters title in Miami was his biggest win at Date.

Federer had only played in two of the previous five Grand Slam tournaments as knee and back injuries took their toll and although questions arise about his future, the reality of an inspired opponent playing inspired tennis turned out too beautiful that day.

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