Roger Federer beaten at Australian Open by Andreas Seppi
Four-time champion Roger Federer is out of the Australian Open after being beaten in the third round by unheralded Italian Andreas Seppi.
The 33-year-old Swiss second seed went down 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 7-6 (7-5) to Seppi, who is ranked 46 in the world.
Seppi, 30, had never beaten the 17-time Grand Slam champion in 10 previous meetings and his win ends a 23-match losing streak against top 10 opponents.
"I just tried my best and it was one of my best matches for sure," said Seppi.
British number one Andy Murray is through to the last 16 but it is the first time since 2003 that Federer has failed to reach at least the semi-finals in Melbourne, and it extends his run without a Grand Slam title which stretches back to Wimbledon 2012.
"It was just a bad day," he said. "I wish I could have played better, but clearly it was tough losing the first two sets.
"I had chances to get back into it. I let it slip, both times in some ways. I guess I won the wrong points out there today."
Federer enjoyed a revival last year, vying with Novak Djokovic for the number one ranking, and began 2015 with his 83rd career title in Brisbane.
However, there had been signs in his previous match against another Italian, Simone Bolelli, that the Swiss was not at his best as he dropped the opening set.
|Who is Andreas Seppi?|
|Seppi, who is nicknamed Andy, speaks Italian, English and German|
|The Italian turned pro in 2002 and reached a career-high ranking of 18th in 2013|
|The world number 46's idol growing up was former world number one Yevgeny Kafelnikov|
|Seppi has won three ATP Tour titles - Moscow (2012), Belgrade (2012) and Eastbourne (2011)|
Two points from defeat in game 10, Federer held on to force another tie-break and had two serves at 5-4, but lost them both to give Seppi a match point.
Faced with the biggest point of his career, Seppi came up with a spectacular running forehand pass to complete a stunning upset.
"I just tried to enjoy playing on centre court (Rod Laver Arena) because it's not often I get the chance," added the Italian.
"I was focusing on my service games as I was not getting many chances on his.
"The tie-break was great, especially the last point. I did not think I would get the ball. I thought it was a winner so I don't know how I hit a winner."
|BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller|
|"Seppi held his nerve admirably in the fourth set, and his breathtaking running forehand winner on match point will be replayed for years to come. This was a Federer performance which conjured up memories of his back-related struggles of 2013, although tiredness is more likely to be a factor this time, as the family holiday was delayed until after the Australian Open|
|"Federer played a lot of matches in the second half of last year: winning the Davis Cup shortened an off-season which was devoted predominantly to practice, along with a brief diversion to Delhi to play in the International Premier Tennis League.."|