Roger Federer blamed a scarcity of dedication for his shock Three-6 7-6(7) 7-6(5) loss to world quantity 116 Evgeny Donskoy of Russia within the Dubai Open second spherical on Wednesday.
Swiss Federer, taking part in his first match since profitable his 18th grand slam title on the Australian Open in January, wasted three match factors within the second set and led 5-2 within the third earlier than the 26-year-old Donskoy fought again.
Third seed Federer, seven-times champion in Dubai, surged 5-1 forward within the deciding tiebreaker however qualifier Donskoy reeled off six factors in a row to safe a outstanding victory.
“Perhaps I wasn’t actually dedicated sufficient, I feel,” the 35-year-old Federer mentioned.
“Dedication in tennis is an enormous factor. Right now I wasn’t, actually. That type of is a sense you get and it trickles in a whole sport.
“Legs additionally felt slower out right here tonight. I felt drained all day. I attempted to get myself in form, and, you already know… It is only a powerful loss tonight. So many possibilities. It was loopy. There isn’t any excuses there.”
Federer, who skipped final 12 months’s match due to a knee surgical procedure which sidelined him for the again finish of the season, refused to be downbeat over his first lack of the 12 months.
“I simply assume it is nonetheless the start of the comeback,” mentioned Federer, who’s scheduled to play at Indian Wells subsequent week.
“I obtained to take the positives out of taking part in once more in a match the place I really feel I am fairly wholesome. I am glad I obtained over the (groin) damage I sustained on the Australian Open.”
Donskoy will subsequent face French seventh seed Lucas Pouille, who beat qualifier Marius Copil 6-1 6-Four, within the quarter-finals.
Prime seed Andy Murray, who’s taking part in in his first match since a fourth spherical defeat on the Australian Open, beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2 6-Zero to achieve the quarter-finals, the place he’ll face Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber.
(Writing by Ed Osmond and Shravanth Vijayakumar; Enhancing by Alison Williams and Nick Mulvenney)