Roger Federer suffers pre-Wimbledon blow with Halle defeat to Felix Auger-Aliassime

Roger Federer crashed out of the Halle Open at the round-of-16 stage after a rusty performance against talented Canadian youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Federer had never lost earlier than the quarter-final stage at the tournament, which he has won 10 times in his career, but looked second best for much of the match against Auger-Aliassime.

The 39-year-old edged a high-quality opening set 6-4, but his impressive opponent had his chances, failing to take four break points.

And Auger-Aliassime was far more clinical in the second and third sets, dominating on his own serve and executing the break points when they came to run out a convincing 4-6 6-3 6-2 winner.

The loss for Federer will come as a blow to his preparations ahead of Wimbledon as he goes in search of a 21st Grand Slam title.

a man holding a racket on a court: Felix Auger Aliassime

                                  © GETTY Felix Auger Aliassime

The Swiss star dropped out of the French Open earlier this month in order to prepare for the grass-court season, withdrawing from Roland Garros after victory in the third round.

“After two knee surgeries and over a year of rehabilitation it’s important that I listen to my body and make sure I don’t push myself too quickly on my road to recovery,” Federer said on his early exit in France.

“After discussions with my team, I’ve decided I will need to pull out of Roland Garros today.

“I am thrilled to have gotten three matches under my belt. There is no greater feeling than being back on court.”

Novak Djokovic went on to win the title in France, taking the Serbian to 19 career Grand Slams, just one win behind Federer’s record tally.

It now seems inevitable that Djokovic will overtake Federer in the all-time list. But the Swiss player isn’t concerned.

“It seems it’s all about Grand Slam titles nowadays and I don’t like that,” Federer said in Halle.

“I just wanted to break Pete’s record. I always said everything that comes after 15 titles was a bonus.”


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