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.
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):
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.
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).
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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