Monday, June 18, 2018
Sports

Another Grand Slam flop for Federer

NEW YORK — From the start, Roger Federer looked very little like, well, the Roger Federer who routinely reached the final weekend at Grand Slam tournaments.

In the opening game of his fourth-round match at the U.S. Open, the owner of 17 major titles got passed at the net twice, sailed a backhand long then missed two forehands to get broken. In the second game, the man who has spent more weeks ranked No. 1 than anyone else dumped a backhand into the net then shanked two others several feet wide.

No longer the dominant presence he once was, Federer lost in the round of 16 at Flushing Meadows for the first time in a decade, surprisingly beaten 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 6-4 by 19th-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain on Monday night.

"I kind of self-destructed, which is very disappointing," said Federer, who made 43 unforced errors and converted only 2 of 16 break points. "It was a frustrating performance."

The usually unflappable Federer kicked the ball at one point.

It capped a poor-by-his-standards Grand Slam season for Federer, whose record Grand Slam trophy collection includes five at the U.S. Open.

He exited in the semifinals at the Australian Open in January, the quarterfinals at the French Open in early June and the second round of Wimbledon — against a player ranked 116th — in late June. That ended Federer's record run of reaching at least the quarterfinals at 36 straight Grand Slam tournaments.

Now, thanks to Robredo, Federer has a new, unwanted streak: Two straight losses before the quarterfinals at majors.

This is the first season since 2002 that Federer did not reach at least one final at any of the four Grand Slam tournaments. That year also marked the last time Federer was ranked lower than he is now at No. 7.

"The story of my life: When I lose, people are shell-shocked to see me play this way," he said.

At age 32, Federer has struggled with a bad back and experimented with a larger racket head, and all along, he has had far more trouble winning matches than he usually does — particularly against the sort of players he barely broke a sweat against at his peak.

Robredo is no slouch: He has been ranked as high as No. 5, albeit in 2006, and this is his seventh trip to the quarterfinals at a major.

But until Monday he was 0-10 against Federer, having won three of the 27 previous sets they'd played. And until Monday, Robredo's record in the fourth round of the U.S. Open was 0-7. He missed time in 2011 and 2012 because of left leg problems that required surgery, and his ranking fell below 400th.

"Roger, when he was No. 1, (compared) to the Roger right now," Robredo said, "he's not maybe (playing) with the same confidence, no?"

In the three women's matches played Monday, No. 10 Roberta Vinci and unseeded Flavia Pennetta set up an all-Italian quarterfinal with victories. Daniela Hantuchova advanced and will face either No. 2 Victoria Azarenka or No. 13 Ana Ivanovic, whose match was postponed until today.

In men's action, No. 4 David Ferrer advanced and will play No. 8 Richard Gasquet in the quarterfinals.

Men

Fourth roundQuarterfinalsSemifinalsChampionshipSemifinalsQuarterfinalsFourth round
1. N. Djokovic8. R. Gasquet
Today, ESPN28. R. Gasquet
M. Granollers10. M. Raonic
Thursday, ESPN2/ESPN Wednesday, ESPN2
21. M. Youzhny18. J. Tipsarevic
Today, ESPN24. D. Ferrer
Hewitt4. D. Ferrer
Saturday, noon, Ch. 10Sept. 9, 5, Ch. 10Saturday, noon, Ch. 10
3. A. Murray7. R. Federer
Tonight, ESPN19. T. Robredo
D. Istomin19. T. Robredo
Thursday, ESPN2/ESPNWednesday, ESPN2
9. S. Wawrinka22. T. Kohlschreiber
Today, ESPN22. R. Nadal
5. T. Berdych2. R. Nadal


Women

Fourth roundQuarterfinalsSemifinalsChampionshipSemifinalsQuarterfinalsFourth round
1. S. WilliamsC. Giorgi
Williams10. R. Vinci
15. S. Stephens10. R. Vinci
Tonight, ESPN Wednesday, ESPN2
18. C. Suarez Navarro21. S. Halep
Suarez NavarroF. Pennetta
8. A. KerberF. Pennetta
Friday, 12:30, Ch. 10Sunday, 4:30, Ch. 10Friday, 12:30, Ch. 10
3. A. RadwanskaA. Riske
MarkarovaD. Hantuchova
24. E. MarkarovaD. Hantuchova
Today, ESPN2Wednesday, ESPN2
9. J. Jankovic13. A. Ivanovic
LiToday, ESPN2
5. N. Li2. V. Azarenka


Comments
For starters: Rays at Astros, trying to stop a streaking champion

For starters: Rays at Astros, trying to stop a streaking champion

UPDATE, 6:40: Cash said he had a good talk with Hechavarria, and that he understood the situation. Cash said Hechavarria will get to play some, and when he does it will be at short. … RHP Chris Archer (abdominal strain) is slated to throw a bul...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Kevin Kiermaier set to rejoin Rays Tuesday

Kevin Kiermaier set to rejoin Rays Tuesday

CF Kevin Kiermaier is here in Houston and will work out with the Rays today, and said that if all goes well he will be activated on Tuesday.That would be a couple days ahead of his most recent timetable, which had him slated to return to Friday.Kierm...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Captain’s Corner: Tips on targeting American Red Snapper

American Red Snapper (ARS) season opened a few days ago and some types of bottom are holding bigger schools of ARS then other bottom types. The hard bottom areas that most fishermen prefer are holding large schools of ARS, but the fish have yet to m...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Barry Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals

Barry Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals

Barry Trotz abruptly stepped down as coach of the Washington Capitals on Monday after failing to agree to terms on a new contract, a stunning move that left the newly minted Stanley Cup champions without a coach with the draft later this week and wit...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Iceland World Cup Fever … catch it!

Iceland World Cup Fever … catch it!

TAMPA — Iceland isn't what it used to be. Literally. The Nordic island country is shrinking, what with global warming. Iceland's glaciers are getting smaller. If you took all that ice and laid it end to end, well, you clearly have nothing bette...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Bucs defensive end Will Gholston says ‘no excuse’ for disappointing 2017 season

Bucs defensive end Will Gholston says ‘no excuse’ for disappointing 2017 season

Will Gholston is painfully honest about a 2017 season that wasn't anything close to what he wanted it to be. Ask him about last year, and there are no parentheses in his world to soften what he remembers here."I just played (crappy), completely. That...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Former U.S. players not cool with Landon Donovan championing Mexico

Former U.S. players not cool with Landon Donovan championing Mexico

MOSCOW — Mexico is in the World Cup, the United States is not, and to former U.S. national team star Landon Donovan, American fans without a rooting interest should support their chief rivals.Saturday morning, in a tweet sponsored by Wells Fargo, Don...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Ex-Bucs WR Lawrence Dawsey worked with team during OTAs

Ex-Bucs WR Lawrence Dawsey worked with team during OTAs

The Bucs had four extra coaches during organized team activities last month as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship, including former Tampa Bay receiver Lawrence Dawsey.Dawsey, 50, played for the Bucs from 1991-95, finishing his time ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
As USF-Yuengling bond grows, is SEC’s alcohol stance slowly shifting?

As USF-Yuengling bond grows, is SEC’s alcohol stance slowly shifting?

USF's expanded partnership with Yuengling — including naming rights to the Sun Dome — is only the latest part in an evolving relationship between college sports and alcohol, as my colleague, Joey Knight, wrote on the front page ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

The Lightning re-signed goaltender Eddie Pasquale to a one-year, two-way contract general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.Pasquale, 27, split this past season between the Syracuse Crunch and Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League. He...
Updated: 10 hours ago