There must be something in the water over at the All England Club (or they're definitely handing out those wonky strawberries) because the upsets keep on coming at Wimbledon, with the latest shocker coming courtesy of Roger Federer.
The 6-time champ was upended by 12th seed Tomas Berdych 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 a day after 5-time champ Venus Williams was knocked out by Tsvetana Pirokova and two days after 3-time finalist Andy Roddick was ousted by Yen-Hsun Lu.
The Czech baller was in an aggressive mindset all match long attacking every part of the court with his blistering forehand and overpowering the top seed with his play especially when he put in a first serve. He cracked 51 winners to 44 for the Swiss and won 59 of 72 points (82%) when landing his first serve compared to 57 of 82 (70%) for Fed. Berdy also converted 4 of 6 break point chances while the defending champ only grabbed 1 of 6.
He'll face Novak Djokovic, who routed Lu 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, for a spot in Sunday's final.
An seemingly surly Fed was asked what went wrong with his game in his post-match presser:
Q. You beat him almost every time you played him. Was he any different?
ROGER FEDERER: Like I said, I think he was a bit more consistent than in the past. I lost to him in Miami this year, where it was a really tight match as well. But from my end, obviously, you know, I'm unhappy with the way I'm playing. I couldn't play the way I wanted to play. You know, I am struggling with a little bit of a back and a leg issue. That just doesn't quite allow me to play the way I would like to play. So it's frustrating, to say the least. Looking forward to some rest anyway.
Q. How do those physical things affect you the most?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, when you're hurting, it's just a combination of many things. You know, you just don't feel as comfortable. You can't concentrate on each and every point because you do feel the pain sometimes. And, uhm, yeah, then you tend to play differently than the way you want to play. Under the circumstances I think I played a decent match, you know. But I've been feeling bad for the last two, three matches now. It's just not good and healthy to play under these kind of conditions, you know. So if there's anything good about this it's I'm gonna get some rest, that's for sure.
Q. When did you first start feeling the problems?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, the leg came in the finals of Halle. That kind of never really quite got away from me. Came back a little bit after the first‑round match, and then went away again and just kept creeping back sometimes during the matches. The back's been feeling stiff the last five days, six days really badly. Also in the finals of Halle. It's just something that's been lingering on the grass. It's normal that the back tends to get stiff, you know, in the grass court season because you have to, uhm, go for many more lower shots. I've had that for many years. I think many players have it. But it's not just not nice when it doesn't go away and you can't play freely. That's what I was missing today.
He was also asked about Andy Murray's chances to finally bring the crown home. Check out his answer to that one:
Q. I wonder if you think this might be his year, given some of the really threatening players haven't been doing so well this year.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, true, Rafa played terribly lately; Soderling is not a threat either. He's got an easy ride to this victory, that's for sure. Djokovic can't play tennis anymore it seems like. Got to make your own work, please. Respect the players. Obviously Andy is a fantastic player and he's got all the chances to win here. We all know that.
One word: WOW. It's pretty disappointing to see a 16-time Grand Slammer blame injuries, which he never mentioned earlier in the tourney, and not the stellar play of his opponent for his loss. He's human and obviously disappointed by the loss but he was outplayed today - simple as that. Berdy performed well the entire match and kept his head together in the tight moments - something he wasn't known to do but has done well this year.
Plus, what's with those biting comments towards Rafa, Sod and Nole? Was he trying to make a funny?
Me thinks someone was handing out sour grapes in the presser today.
As for the other quarterfinals, Rafa beat Sod 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-1 and will take on Muzz, who ousted Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 6-2, 6-2, in the semifinals. *grabs popcorn*
UPDATE: Here's a bit of what Pretty Boy had to say in response to Fed's post-match commentary. I'll have more in today's 'He Said/He Said' post...
Q. How do you feel about Roger after the things he said after the match?
TOMAS BERDYCH: No, I mean, yeah, it's just his point of view. That's what he said, and I don't care. I mean, it's just his opinion. So he needs to have some reasons for it, and that's what he said.
Yeah, that's what I said. I mean, yeah, just respect him in all points of what he did, what he achieved, everything. But, yeah, that's how it is. That's was his reason, what he said, and just leave it with him.
And thanks to reader Ashzulfi for reminding me that Fed will now drop to the third spot in the rankings for the first time since 2003 behind Rafa at the top and Nole who will supplant him at No. 2 when they're released on Monday. Double OUCH.