ATP Geneva: Roger Federer loses massive advantage and falls to Pablo Andujar

Playing his third match of the season, Roger Federer suffered a heavy 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 loss to Pablo Andujar in an hour and 51 minutes. Competing on clay for the first time in two years, Roger controlled the pace in sets two and three until 4-2 in the decider, fading from the court suddenly and dropping the last four games to push Andujar into the quarters. Andujar claimed seven points more than Federer in the opener, dropping only five points behind the initial shot and stealing Roger’s serve in the closing stages for 6-4. The Spaniard held with a service winner in the opening game, and the Swiss grabbed the second game with two powerful serves at deuce to get his name on the scoreboard. Doing everything right behind the initial shot so far, Pablo fired another service winner in game three for a hold at love, hoping for chances on the return. They didn’t come in the fourth game, though, as Roger closed it with a booming initial shot to level the score at 2-2.

Returning in game five, Federer created a 30-15 gap before spraying a forehand mistake in the fifth point that could have been a chance for him. Instead of that, the Spaniard held with another quick rally to open a 3-2 gap. The Swiss held at 30 in game six to follow the rival’s pace, and servers lost only three points in the next three games to remain neck and neck. Serving to prolong the set at 4-5, Federer netted a backhand at 30-30 and suffered a break when his forehand landed wide in the next point, handing the opening set to his opponent after 34 minutes. Raising his level in set number two, Roger landed 79% of the first serve in and dropped only five points in five service games.

Roger Federer wasted a 4-2 lead in the decider against Pablo Andujar in Geneva.

That mounted the pressure on the other side of the net, and Pablo couldn’t endure it, giving serve away in the early stages and standing no chance in the remaining games. The Swiss held at love in game two with a service winner and stayed in touch in the next one before creating a break chance with a sharp forehand crosscourt winner.

Andujar sprayed a forehand mistake right after serve to offer Federer a break and the advantage. Controlling the pace in those moments, the Swiss fired another forehand winner to confirm the lead in game four and blasted two direct points at 30-30 in game six to remain in front. Serving at 4-3, Roger placed a perfect drop shot winner for another comfortable hold and closed the set with a forehand winner in game ten that secured the set for him in under 30 minutes! Like in set number two, Pablo wasted his chance in the decider at 1-1, allowing Roger to grab a break with a perfect forehand crosscourt winner after a great defense that pretty much secured the win for him. Federer confirmed the lead with a service winner in game four and produced another at 3-2 with a forehand winner to stay in front. In only his second loose service game of the match, Federer got broken at 4-3 when Andujar placed a forehand winner to bring more drama and extend his chances. Losing ground in those moments, Roger suffered another break at 4-5, saving the first two with winners before falling on the third to push the rival through.

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