Saturday, July 20, 2013

HAMBURG 2013: Federer Loses To #116; Serena Gets 50th Win of 2013

Roger Federer lost to a player ranked outside the ATP Tour Top 100 for the second time in 2013 (and only the twelfth time in his career) when Argentine qualifier Federico Delbonis beat him in the semifinals of the Hamburg bet-at-home Open 7-6(7) 7-6(4). In the final Delbonis will face Italian Fabio Fognini, who will be playing in his second consecutive ATP Tour final after winning his first career ATP Tour title in Stuttgart last week. Fognini is now on a 9-match winning streak after sweeping past #3 seed Nicolas Almagro in his semifinal. 22-year-old lefty Delbonis was playing in the semifinal after defeating Fernando Verdasco following one of the Spaniard's now-legendary meltdowns on the court in 3 hours and 15 minutes.

Federer lost to another player outside the top 100 (Sergiy Stakhovsky) in the very last tournament he played in, the 2013 Wimbledon championships, in the second round. Stakhovsky was ranked #116 at the time while Delbonis is ranked #114. Federer made news this week because he has traded in his old racquet with a relatively small head of 90 square inches for one that has 98 square inches. Most top-level tour players play with racquets with at least 100 square inches. It's not clear what impact the racquet had on his game, but he played two tough 3-set matches, against Daniel Brands and Florian Mayer, two good players, but not players whom a 17-time major champion would be expected to struggle against.

16-time champion Serena Williams is now 50-4 for 2013, the fastest she has ever won 50 matches in a calendar year. She will play in the final of the Swedish Open, where she will face hometown favorite Johanna Larsson.

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