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Federer’s honeymoon spoilt by Wawrinka


Roger Federer has been beaten by Olympic gold medal doubles partner Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters.

Adding insult to injury on Thursday, Federer was not nominated for the World Sportsman of the Year award, an honour he won for a record fourth time last year.

Federer, who was playing in his first tournament since marrying longtime girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec on Saturday, looked sloppy throughout the match and faced 14 break points.

“I was making a few too many errors. That kind of gave him the advantage,” Federer said. “I guess it was Stan’s game. He did a good job today. He kept the ball in play.”

It was the third time the two have played each other and the first win for Wawrinka.

“Maybe it wasn’t the most spectacular tennis, but it’s my most beautiful victory,” he said, adding: “I’m a bit embarrassed to celebrate it.”

The 24-year-old set up his first match point with a deep shot into the corner that the second-seeded Federer failed to return. He clinched victory with a backhand pass down the line.

Federer, 27, who needs to win one more grand slam title to equal Pete Sampras’s record of 14 majors, was unhappy with his forehand and serve.

“Today definitely my serve wasn’t working. I haven’t served my best throughout the season, so I have to make sure I get my serve back in,” Federer said.

“Not that I expect ten aces a set here on this type of heavy clay, but I just think it’s something I need to work on. Make sure my timing gets right, my footwork gets right, and my forehand. It just showed me again this week what I need to work on for next week. That’s why I think it was good to come here.”

The 13th-seeded Wawrinka, who plays alongside Federer on Switzerland’s Davis Cup team, will meet qualifier Andreas Beck of Germany in the quarterfinals.

Wasted break points

Federer looked shaky from the start, saving a break point in his opening service game, before Wawrinka got the decisive break in the seventh game. Federer then sent an easy forehand into the net to give Wawrinka the first set.

The two players traded breaks to open the second set and Federer, who accepted a wild card to play in the tournament after originally planning to skip the clay-court event, had to save two more break points at 15-40 in the seventh game as Wawrinka pressured his unusually weak forehand.

Wawrinka then needed another four chances before breaking Federer again in the 11th game to serve for the match at 6-5. Although Wawrinka wobbled, Federer wasted two break points and failed to force a tiebreaker.

A heavy rainstorm interrupted fourth-seeded Andy Murray’s match against Italian qualifier Fabio Fognini. Murray rallied from 5-0 down to win the first set 7-6 (11), and he led 1-0, 40-40, with Fognini serving before the rain and hail came down.

Laureus ceremony scrapped

Federer won’t be present at this year’s Laureus Awards ceremony – but neither will anyone else.

This year’s ceremony is being scrapped because of the global economic crisis, organisers of the gala event said shortly after announcing on Thursday that Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps were among the nominees for the top men’s prize.

The lavish, televised back-slapping event – often called the “Oscars” of the sports world – was held in Monaco from 2000-2003. It moved to Lisbon in 2004 and was then hosted in Barcelona from 2005-07 and St Petersburg last year.

The winners will instead receive their awards individually at a series of presentations in May and June.

Bolt and Phelps were nominated for the World Sportsman of the Year award alongside Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, French Open and Wimbledon winner Rafael Nadal, Fifa world footballer of the year Cristiano Ronaldo and MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi.

Bolt won three gold medals at the Beijing Olympics and set worlds records in the 100, 200 and 4×100 metres relay. Phelps won a record eight Olympic swimming gold medals at the Beijing Games, eclipsing the seven won by Mark Spitz at the 1972 Munich Games.

Federer lost his No. 1 ranking to Nadal last year and has since struggled to return to his best.

US skier Lindsey Vonn was among the nominees for the Sportswoman of the Year award, along with Ethiopian distance runner Tirunesh Dibaba, Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, Mexican golfer Lorena Ochoa, Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice and Wimbledon champion Venus Williams.

swissinfo with agencies

Age: 27

Career singles titles: 57

Grand slam titles: 13

Australian Open (2004, 2006, 2007)

Wimbledon (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)

US Open (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR