Swiss legend Roger Federer was dumped out of the Australian Open by unseeded Italian Andreas Seppi in a major boilover on Friday.
The 46th-ranked Seppi conquered Federer for the first time in 11 meetings, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 7-6 (7/5) in almost three hours on Rod Laver Arena.
The Italian will now face either Australian Nick Kyrgios or Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri in the fourth round.
It was a stunning win for Seppi, who had only taken one set off the 17-time Grand Slam champion in their previous 10 encounters.
It was Federer’s earliest exit from the Australian Open since 2001, while he was knocked out in the second round at Wimbledon in 2013.
Federer was chasing his fifth Australian Open crown, but has now not won a major title since Wimbledon in 2012.
Composed Seppi kept the Swiss star under pressure throughout the match and broke him three times, winning with a magnificent passing backhand with Federer stranded at the net.
Seppi hit 50 winners, while Federer made a total of 55 errors.
“I just tried to enjoy playing on centre court again, it’s not often that I get a chance to play on centre court,” Seppi said.
“I just tried to do my best and it was one of my best matches for sure to win against Roger.
“Even with a two sets lead you never feel comfortable against Roger Federer, but I was focused on my service games and I didn’t have many chances on his serve.
“It was a great tiebreak, especially with the last points.” – Agence France-Presse