Andujar Upsets Federer In Geneva
Pablo Andujar upset Roger Federer on the Swiss superstar’s ATP Tour return on Tuesday at the Gonet Geneva Open.
World No. 75 Andujar bounced back from 2-4 down in the deciding set to win 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 over one hour and 52 minutes in front of a small crowd at the Parc des Eaux-Vives.
“As [far as wins, this is] number one for sure,” Andujar said. “To win a tournament could be more emotional, but this is something I think I will remember my whole life."
Federer, who was playing his first match since 11 March, saw his 32-match winning streak on Swiss soil come to an end as Andujar recorded just the fifth Top 10 win of his career (5-23 lifetime).
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Federer initially struggled for groundstroke depth, but started to move well and threw off the shackles 46 minutes into the match with his first break of serve. He lost just four of his service points in the second set and thereafter posed a threat to Andujar's serve before a tense finale.
“I was trying to keep the gap between the games small, trying to have faith that he was going to serve a little bit with second serves and at that moment I hoped I would have the chance to break him,” Andujar said. “For me it was very difficult, I couldn’t see his serve and he was serving pretty well, so it was difficult for me to return. I just got the chance at 4-3 when he didn’t serve with first serves and lucky me, I was able to break him.”
Andujar will next challenge fellow Swiss Dominic Stephan Stricker, currently No. 419 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, or Marton Fucsovics of Hungary.
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Andujar placed his serve and capitalised on Federer’s shorter groundstroke depth in the early stages. Although Federer’s movement improved, groundstroke errors cost the Swiss at 4-5 when Andujar wrapped up the 38-minute opener.
It wasn't until the third game of the second set that Federer created his first break point off a forehand winner. With a 2-1 advantage, Federer grew in confidence and started to impose his all-court game. He finished the set with a flourish, striking a backhand winner to carry the momentum into the decider.
Federer began to play inside the baseline and flicked a crosscourt forehand winner to break for a 2-1 lead in the third set. With the finish line in sight, Federer struggled to land a first serve and Andujar broke back to 4-4 with a forehand winner. Federer saved two match points, but at the third time of asking Andujar claimed a memorable win in their first ATP Head2Head meeting.
"Of course he’s much better than me and if he plays a [normal] match, he would beat me for sure. But I don’t think he played a really bad match,” Andujar said. “That’s my point of view. I think in some of the points, in some of the facets of the match, he played pretty well. I couldn’t return his serve, his first stroke after the serve is always very good. During the match, there were some good points.”
Andujar's last Top 10 win came over World No. 8 David Ferrer in the 2015 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell semi-finals.
It was Federer's first loss in Switzerland since 27 October 2013, when Juan Martin del Potro beat him in the Swiss Indoors Basel final. Federer was contesting his first match since a quarter-final exit at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open (l. to Basilashvili) and his first clay-court match since the 2019 Roland Garros semi-finals (l. to Nadal).
“Of course at 4-2 in the third you feel like, ‘Oh, that’s nice that I was able to turn around the match.’ You start feeling better and that’s when it dips and everything is over 10 minutes later,” Federer said. “But we know how tennis goes and that’s where it’s so brutal sometimes. But I feel like I didn’t deserve it at the end. There was just not enough happening in my game.”
Stricker, an 18-year-old wild card, recorded his first ATP Tour match win over 2016 finalist Marin Cilic 7-6(5), 6-1 in 79 minutes, while Fucsovics got the better of Swiss qualifier Henri Laaksonen 7-5, 7-5 in one hour and 50 minutes.