Roger Federer, chasing his eighth Dubai title, crashed out of this yearÈs championship in what must be one of the biggest upsets of the week. The Australian Open champion fell to the world number 116, Evgeny Donskoy, and obviously underestimated the journeyman from Russia.
ItÈs just a tough loss tonight. So many chances. It was crazy. ThereÈs no excuses there
The third seed lost 3-6 7-6(7) 7-6(5) wasting three match points in the second set and then losing a 5-2 lead in the third. He even let slip a 5-1 lead in the deciding tiebreaker.
Maybe I wasnÈt really committed enough, the 35-year-old Federer admitted. Commitment in tennis is a big thing. Today I wasnÈt, really. That sort of is a feeling you get and it trickles in an entire game.
Legs also felt slower out here tonight. I felt tired all day. I tried to get myself in shape, and, you know_ ItÈs just a tough loss tonight. So many chances. It was crazy. ThereÈs no excuses there.
Federer who surprised the tennis world by claiming his 18th grand slam title in Australia in January, put on a brave face and refused to let the loss put him down.
I just think itÈs still the beginning of the comeback, said Federer, who is scheduled to play at Indian Wells next week. I got to take the positives out of playing again in a tournament where I feel IÈm quite healthy. IÈm happy I got over the (groin) injury I sustained at the Australian Open.
Donskoy will next face French seventh seed Lucas Pouille, who beat qualifier Marius Copil 6-1 6-4, in his second round match for a place in the last eight.
Top seed Andy Murray, who was scheduled to play Federer in the semis, beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2 6-0 to reach the quarter-finals, where he will face GermanyÈs Philipp Kohlschreiber.
BritainÈs number three Dan Evans provided Gael Monfils with a tough battle before going down 6-4 3-6 6-1.
Meanwhile in Acapulco, second-seeded Rafael Nadal eased past Italian Paolo Lorenzi in 66-minutes, 6-1 6-1 in his second-round match Wednesday.
The Spaniard broke Lorenzi five times and lost only five points on his own whie never facing a break point.
In contrast top seeded Novak Djokovic survived a tough challenge from ArgentinaÈs gentle giant, Juan Martin del Potro, going through 4-6 6-4 6-4 where he will face the controversial Nick Kyrgios of Australia in the last eight who in turn beat Donald Young of the US 6-2 6-4.
American Sam Querrey recorded MexicoÈs biggest upset of the day by eliminating fifth-seeded David Goffin of Belgium 6-2 6-3 in 69-minutes. Querrey lost only four points on his first serve.
In the womenÈs draw Heather Watson went down to a marathon battle 7-6(4) 6-7(5) 7-5 to Kristina Mladenovic.
The British number two delivered her 18th double fault on match point after battling on court with the Frencwoman ober three hours and 32-minutes.