Roger Federer is out of the Cincinnati Masters, ousted by Russian Andrey Rublev in two straight sets 6-3 6-4 in the round of 16.
The 21 year-old Russian qualifier had also beaten Federer’s compatriot Stan Wawrinka in the round of 32.
The match on Thursday with Federer lasted about one hour. It was Federer’s second match since he lost the finals of Wimbledon to Novak Djokovic in July.
The Russian broke the third seeded Swiss in his first two service games and won 81% of his first serve points to wrap up the upset.
Rublev shed tears of joy after pulling off the biggest win of his career.
“It is such an amazing feeling when you’re playing a legend like Roger and all these people supporting him until the end,” he told ESPN in an on-court interview.
“One day I hope I’m going to feel the same.
“Today I was just trying to do my best and was thinking in my head that I need to play every point until the end no matter what.”
The win sets up an all Russian quarter-final with ninth seed Daniil Medvedev.
What Federer says:
But with the wisdom gained from nearly two decades on tour, the 20-time Grand Slam winner was hardly at panic stations after the surprise defeat.
“It’s very important for me that I’m injury-free and I’m feeling good,” he said. “Regardless of what the outcome of this week, I’m happy I came here, had good practice sessions.
“I had two matches here and hoped it would have gone better — the plan is always not to lose first round. The plan is always not to lose second round.
“The plan is never really to be in the weekend. It’s trying to be there.
“When these kind of results happen, you walk away from it and say, like, ‘What’s the plan?’ I don’t know. I just walked off the court.”
Federer said that discussion with his team will determine his schedule for the rest of this week and next, with the final Grand Slam of the season starting a week from Monday.
“I’ll have a few more days off now, I’m sure, before the US Open,” he said. “I worked very hard coming into Cincinnati in that little season we had since Wimbledon.
“I’m going to train — exactly what I need to do for the Open — and that’s it. It’s fairly simple, keep it simple, but I’ve got to work hard.”
Federer won his last title in Cincinnati in 2015, standing a career 47-10 at the event.
He was playing Rublev, 21, for the first time.