More Carnage at SW19: Now Federer's Gone

Published on 26-Jun-2013 by J Square Humboldt

Tennis    Tennis Daily Update

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More Carnage at SW19: Now Federer's Gone

Filmmaker Spike Lee should get residuals ...

Maybe it's still the shoes.

Roger Federer showed up at Wimbledon this year obediently adorned in his sponsor's shoes with orange soles. Apparently, Nike felt it would only be a subtle violation of the All-English Club's all-white rule for tennis apparel. He got away with it in the first round, but was politely asked -- pc for 'ordered' -- to revert to more conventional wear in subsequent rounds.

Well, 'subsequent' only means 'one' for Federer this year.

For the first time since 2002, the Swiss serving machine has been dumped in the early going. The conqueror was 116th-ranked Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky, 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 7-6 (7-5).

As shocking as this is to the tennis world, this result will be a boon to the headline writers in the British media, as perpetual homeboy standard bearer Andy Murray now is the highest-ranked competitor on his side of the bracket.

Not since Fred Perry in 1936 has a British man won at Wimbledon. Murray has faced unsolicited intense pressure to duplicate that feat ever since he slid into the top levels of world tennis, a task that has, to date, required him to mount a super-human effort against whomever was the reigning terror at the time or to simply hope that the current titan would have an off-day. So far, no go.

But this time around, he finds himself a co-favorite by default.

Murray has claimed one major championship, the US Open last year, in a brilliant display against the formidable Novak Djokovic. Perhaps that has given him the confidence that was so essential for Perry.

As for Stakhovsky, he's most likely had his moment in the midday sun. Very few underdogs have been able to maintain their surprising performance consistently, with the possible exception of an up-and-coming German teenager at the time, Boris Becker.

Given Murray's luck, another Becker might be lurking in the bracket somewhere. Still, he is now the hunted and not the hunter, by both the remaining players and the home-country media.

For the balance of the fortnight, he'll need Perry's mindset. And then some.