World number one Roger Federer has suffered a shock defeat in the United States, ending his 41-match winning streak stretching back to August last year.This content was published on March 12, 2007 - 10:24
The Swiss star lost 7-5, 6-2 to Argentina's Guillermo Canas in the second round of the Indian Wells Masters – a title Federer had won for the past three years.
The 25-year-old arrived at the tournament on the back of seven consecutive titles and was considered an odds-on favourite to break the record of 46 straight matches won by Guillermo Vilas of Argentina 30 years ago.
But the Basel-born player, who was also chasing a record-equalling eighth straight tournament victory, did not seem too fazed by defeat. He simply said he had not taken his chances and Canas had played very well.
He added that the pressure of closing in on another record had not contributed to his defeat.
"It's no pressure at all because I take it match by match," said Federer, who is the holder of ten grand slam titles. "It just shows you how tough it is.
"Today was just a grind for me from the start. [A] first round match is always difficult, but I've had an incredible run, not losing in the first round for, I think, over two years. So I'm really happy about that. Sooner or later it had to happen, so it's okay. It's no problem."
Canas, who got into the tournament as a "lucky loser" from qualifying, returned to the tour in September last year after serving a 15-month drug suspension.
Once ranked eighth by the ATP tour, the Argentine went up 6-5 in the first set with a service break and held to close out the set. During the break between sets, Federer summoned the official trainer to treat blisters on his feet.
Federer managed to stay in the match at the start of the second set but then needed a second visit from the trainer. After that Canas won the final three games of the set, dumping the Swiss out of the $3.3-million (SFr4.07 million) tournament.
Surprisingly, Federer then went out to join Swiss countryman Yves Allegro for a doubles match against David Ferrer and Tommy Robredo of Spain.
Canas won his seventh title earlier this year and was ranked 60th when Indian Wells got underway. He lost to Alexander Waske in the final round of qualifying, though, and was on the way home until Belgian Xavier Malisse dropped out.
"It's my first Masters Series after I start again, and to beat the number one in the world, and to play like this is great for me," said Canas.
swissinfo with agencies
Federer celebrated his 161st consecutive week as world number one last month, breaking the 30-year-old record of American Jimmy Connors.
He had won his two previous tournaments this year: Dubai and the Australian Open.
His next appearance will be at the Key Biscayne Masters in Miami, which starts on March 21.
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