Roger Federer was surprised this Tuesday by Pablo Andújar in his debut at the Geneva Open, in which it was his return to clay more than 700 days after losing to Rafa Nadal in the semifinals of Roland Garros in 2019.
The Swiss suffered against Andújar, world number 70, who became one of the lowest ranked tennis players to defeat ‘El Maestro’ since Federer made the leap to professional tennis in 1998, as shown in the graph collected by the Twitter account @ TennisMyLife68.
A table attached to his Twitter account shows Roger Federer’s defeats against rivals with a ranking lower than ATP number 60, most of them taking place between 1998 and 2000, when Federer was still making his way around the circuit.
Lowest ranked players to defeat 🇨🇭Roger Federer pic.twitter.com/WlEWo9lTIY
– TennisMyLife (@ TennisMyLife68) May 18, 2021
You have to go back to the US Open in 2019 to find Roger Federer’s last loss to a player below the Top-60 of the ATP ranking, since Federer, with back pain, fell in the quarterfinals of the tournament against Grigor Dimitrov, who at that time was ranked 78 after overcoming his shoulder injury, in a match that was decided in the fifth set. A few weeks before the Swiss was surprised in the round of 16 of the Cincinnati Masters by the young Russian Andrey Rublev, then number 70 in the ranking.
In 2018 Federer also fell surprisingly at the US Open against Australian John Millman, then number 55 in the world, although the big surprise for the Swiss that year was what happened at the 1000 Masters in Miami, when in his debut in the tournament he was surprised by the Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, number 175 in the ranking At that time, they defeated him in three sets in the second round of the tournament.
The 2017 season, in which Federer returned after his knee operation, also left us two surprising defeats for the Swiss. The first of them took place in the Dubai Tournament, where he fell in the round of 16 against Russian Evgeni Donskoy, then 116th in the world, in a match that went to three sets. More surprising if possible was the defeat that Federer suffered in the round of 16 of the Stuttgart tournament that year against veteran Tommy Haas, then number 302 in the ranking, which came back to prevail in three sets.
You have to go back to 2015 to find another defeat for Roger Federer against a rival outside the Top-50 of the ATP ranking, when the Spanish Albert Ramos, then at number 70 in the ATP rankings, beat the Swiss in the second round of the 1,000 Masters in Shanghai. That year Federer also fell in the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open to Nick Kyrgios, although the Australian was number 35 in the ATP rankings at the time, and was surprised by Andreas Seppi, world number 46, at the Australian Open, and Lleyton Hewitt, then 60th in the world, in the final of the Brisbane tournament.
In the summer of 2013 Federer suffered a streak of surprising losses to opponents far below the ranking. The first of them took place at Wimbledon, when the Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky, then 116th in the world, gave the great bell of the tournament after beating the Swiss in the second round of the tournament in four sets. Few weeks later Federer fell on Hamburg clay court in the semifinals against Argentine Federico Delbonis, 114 in the ranking at that time. The Swiss suffered another painful defeat that July against German Daniel Brands, then number 55 in the world., in the round of 16 of the Gstaad tournament. Federer is already looking to turn the page after the defeat against Andújar to avoid future surprises at Roland Garros and at Wimbledon and the Tokyo Games, his two great objectives this season in his return to the elite.