Stats and takeaways as Roger Federer loses his No.1 ranking following defeat in Miami

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Massive upset: Courtesy of Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Thanasi Kokkinakis pulled off the biggest upset of his career as he ended Roger Federer’s title defence in the Miami Open second round 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) on Saturday in Key Biscayne.

The Australian world No. 175, who was granted a wildcard into the Miami qualifying rounds, is on the comeback trail from a series of injuries that have hampered him over the past two seasons and at 21, is still looking to fulfil his potential and put his physical issues behind him.

Here’s a closer look at the stats and takeaways from Kokkinakis’ massive victory over Federer.

TOP RANKING SLIPS AWAY FROM FEDERER

The Swiss’ defeat to Kokkinakis did not just end his title defence in Miami, but it also means that Federer will lose the No. 1 ranking next week and will be replaced at the top by the currently injured Rafael Nadal.

Federer needed to at least reach the quarter-finals in Miami to retain his position at the summit but instead faltered in his opener in Key Biscayne.

“I deserve it after this match. That’s how I feel. Just so bad,” said Federer of losing the top spot.

CONSECUTIVE LOSSES

Federer’s loss to Kokkinakis is second consecutive defeat, having fallen to Juan Martin Del Potro in the Indian Wells final last Sunday.

This is the first time Federer has lost back-to-back matches since 2014, when he fell in the Monte Carlo final to Stan Wawrinka, then lost his Rome opener to Jeremy Chardy.

BIGGEST UPSET OF A WORLD NO. 1 IN 15 YEARS

Kokkinakis is the lowest-ranked player to defeat a world No. 1 since a 178th-ranked Francisco Clavet upset a top-ranked Lleyton Hewitt in Miami in 2003.

Federer was a quarter-finalist at in that Miami tournament in 2003, while Kokkinakis was six years old.

Here’s a look at the lowest-ranked players to upset a world No. 1 on the ATP tour since 1984 (via atpworldtour.com):

Upsets of No. 1

RARE OCCASION FOR ROGER

This is just the second time Federer has lost to someone ranked as low as the 175th-ranked Kokkinakis in 18 seasons. The only other time within that period was when he fell to a 302nd-ranked Tommy Haas in the Stuttgart second round last year.

A FIRST FOR KOKKINAKIS

This is the first top-five victory of Kokkinakis’ career and the second against a top-10 opponent. The young Aussie defeated a sixth-ranked Milos Raonic in at the Queen’s Club last year.

IT WAS SUPER TIGHT

Federer actually won two more points than Kokkinakis in that match. The Swiss won 98 points compared to Kokkinakis’ 96.

The top seed also had a positive winners-unforced errors differential of 39-31 while Kokkinakis hit 25 winners against 27 unforced errors.

“He was just a bit better than me today, you know. What exactly that was, I think you probably have to break it down to the key moments. He was a bit more relaxed. I was in search mode the whole match. I never got going,” said Federer.

Kokkinakis didn’t necessarily serve too well, landing just 52 per cent of his first serves in but he hit 12 forehand winners and 10 service winners, including seven aces.

“Winning a lot of baseline rallies and dictating with my forehand, I think when I’m playing like that off the ground, I can be very dangerous,” said Kokkinakis after the win.

The Aussie was also a successful 9/11 at the net while Federer was 26/36.

NOT DAUNTED BY THE CHALLENGE OF RF

Kokkinakis has spent time practicing with Federer in Dubai, last year and in 2014, and that probably helped him on court against the 36-year-old on Saturday.

He also doesn’t seem to be intimidated by the 20-time Grand Slam champion and was clutch when he needed it the most.

“Yeah, I mean, everyone is human. He just plays tennis a lot better than a lot of people,” said Kokkinakis of Federer.

MASTER-FUL THANASI

This is the first time Kokkinakis has posted back-to-back main draw wins at an ATP Masters 1000 event since Indian Wells 2015, when he made the third round before losing to Bernard Tomic. It was also just his second-ever main draw victory in Miami, while Federer is a three-time champion at the tournament (2005, 2006, 2017).

What a day. 🐐🐔 #keephustlin

A post shared by Thanasi Kokkinakis 🐓 (@the_kokk1) on

NO CATASTROPHE FOR FEDERER

Federer remains a stunning 69-7 win-loss since he returned from a six-month injury break in January 2017 and is 17-2 this season. His two defeats in the last seven days were 7-6 in the third (against Del Potro and Kokkinakis) and he is likely to get back the top spot during the clay season, even without playing, since Nadal is defending 4,680 points on the red dirt and is still recovering from his psoas issue.

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Monica Puig produces stunning upset to defeat Caroline Wozniacki in Miami

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Monica Puig

World No2 Caroline Wozniacki and rising star Naomi Osaka became early round casualties while veteran Venus Williams survived a scare to book her third round spot at the Miami Open.

Wozniacki slumped to a shock 0-6, 6-4, 6-4 defeat to Monica Puig of Puerto Rico while Osaka’s bid for the “Sunshine Double” of Indian Wells and Miami Open titles ended with a 6-4, 6-2 loss to fourth seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina.

The 24-year-old Puig compared her win over reigning Australian Open champion Wozniacki to her gold medal triumph at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“It felt like Rio all over again,” Puig said. “I have been waiting for this and to finally start finding myself again.”

The 27-year-old Wozniacki appeared to be headed to an easy victory after winning the first set in less than 30 minutes before the wheels fell off. World number 82 Puig clinched the win with a blistering forehand winner on the second match point.

“I just tried to stay positive,” she said. “I didn’t think I played that poorly in the first set. She’s a great player so I had to stay focused and keep fighting.”

Puig became the first Puerto Rican athlete to win gold in any sport at the Olympics when she beat Germany’s Angelique Kerber in the final.

It was another disappointing exit for Wozniacki, who finally silenced her critics earlier this year with her maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne, where she defeated Simona Halep in the final.

Wozniacki drops to 17-5 on the season as she has now crashed out of her last two tournaments in stunning fashion. In her most recent WTA event in Indian Wells, Wozniacki was upset in the round of 16 by Russian dynamo Daria Kasatkina.

Japan’s Osaka came into the second-round match against Svitolina on an eight-match winning streak that included her dream run to the Indian Wells title and a first-round triumph here over 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.

But it was Svitolina who emerged with a victory thanks to a solid service performance that saw her win nearly 80 percent of points on her first serve.

Four service breaks

Svitolina saved five of six break points she faced and broke Osaka four times en route to the victory in an hour and 23 minutes.

Osaka saved two match points before holding for 5-2 in the second set, but she was unable to convert three break points in the next game as Svitolina sealed the win.

“It was challenging. I’m very happy the way I handled this match today and the way I was playing,” Svitolina said.

In other second-round action on Friday, seven-time Grand Slam champion Williams stormed back from deficits in each set to defeat world number 88 Natalia Vikhlyantseva 7-5, 6-4.

The 37-year-old American improved to 7-3 on the season as she clinched the victory on the second match point when the 21-year-old Russian smacked a forehand wide.

Williams trailed 2-5 in the first set but won five straight games to take the opener. She also rallied in the second set, falling behind 0-3 before winning six of the next seven for the victory.

Ninth-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova defeated 19-year-old Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.

Provided by AFP Sport 

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"I'm trying, but it's not working" - Novak Djokovic suffers another setback in Miami

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A dejected Novak Djokovic

Six-time champion Novak Djokovic “ran out of gas” in a straight sets loss to Benoit Paire, while the red-hot Juan Martin Del Potro won his opening match at the ATP Miami Masters.

It was another setback for the Serbian star Djokovic as he bids to return from the elbow injury that sidelined him for six months and finally saw him have “minor” surgical intervention after a disappointing Australian Open.

“I’m trying, but it’s not working,” said Djokovic, who lost his opener 6-3, 6-4. “That’s all it is. I mean, obviously I’m not feeling great when I’m playing this way.

“Of course I want to be able to play as well as I want to play. Just, it’s impossible at the moment. That’s all.”

While Djokovic is struggling, world number six Del Potro is headed in the opposite direction. The 29-year-old Argentine showed why he is the hottest player on the ATP Tour right now with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 win over Robin Haase in his second round match.

Paire broke Djokovic at love to seal the win, Djokovic dumping a backhand into the net on the Frenchman’s first match point.

“I felt I started the match well, first six games,” Djokovic said. “Then I just ran out of gas. He was serving well. I just wasn’t able to break him down. He was just coming up with the good shots at the right time. It happened very fast.”

Djokovic had also lost his opening match at the Indian Wells Masters last week. But he was encouraged in Miami this week to find himself playing without pain for the first time “in years.”

He said a lack of match fitness was “one of the things” preventing him from gaining any steam in his bid to return to his top form.

But he said that in attempting to play through injury for so long, “I compromised my game and the movement and everything … I’m trying to figure things out.

“I wanted to come to Indian Wells and Miami because I wanted to see whether I can play a match,” he said. “I love playing on the hard court. I wanted to get a couple of tournaments before the clay court season starts.

“I obviously wasn’t ready for that.”

Although he had planned for the two Stateside hardcourt tournaments to be a precursor to a full clay court season, Djokovic sounded unsure after the defeat.

“That was the plan,” he said when asked if he felt ready to head into the Monte Carlo Masters Aril 14-22. “But let’s see what happens.”

Del Potro notches another win

Former US Open winner Del Potro extended his win streak to 12 straight matches as he seeks his third straight ATP title after winning back-to-back in Acapulco and Indian Wells.

Del Potro blasted five aces and won 79 percent of his first-serve points in the two hour and nine minute match.

Del Potro moves on to the third round where he will battle 26th seeded Kei Nishikori who needed three sets to eliminate Aussie qualifier John Millman 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-3

In other matches on Friday, second seed Marin Cilic, of Croatia, eased past Pierre-Hugues Herbert, of France, 7-5, 6-3; Canada’s Milos Raonic rolled over Swede Mikael Ymer 6-3, 6-3; third seeded Grigor Dimitrov defeated Maximilian Marterer 4-6, 6-2, 6-1; and South Korea’s Chung Hyeon toppled unseeded Matthew Ebden 6-3, 7-5.

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