Roger Federer to miss US Open and undergo knee surgery
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Nikoloz Basilashvili shunned Stefanos Tsitsipas after knocking the second seed out of Indian Wells. The world No 36 stunned the Greek by defeating him 6-4 2-6 6-4 in the quarter-final on Friday (October 15). Although Basilashvili was able to book a spot in the last-four of a Masters 1000, he admitted an early win at an ATP 250 event was a ‘bigger’ deal.
Basilashvili started a day of upsets in Indian Wells when he knocked world No 3 and highest-ranked remaining player Tsitsipas out in the quarter-finals.
Following his upset victory over this year’s Roland Garros runner-up, American Taylor Fritz took to the court and saved two match points en route to a comeback win over world No 4 and recent Olympic gold medallist Alexander Zverev.
The Georgian booked a spot in his first-ever Masters semi-final with his victory over Tsitsipas.
Despite achieving a career-best result, Basilashvili shunned the Greek as he named a win over Roger Federer in a much smaller event as the “bigger” victory.
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The 29-year-old beat Federer during the Swiss star’s first tournament in over a year.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion ended his 2020 season after the Australian Open and underwent two knee surgeries, returning to the tour at the ATP 250 event in Doha back in March.
After receiving a bye to the second round and defeating Dan Evans in his first match in over a year, Federer lost to Basilashvili in three sets.
When asked to choose which win was “bigger” following his victory over Tsitsipas, the five-time title winner chose the former world No 1.
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“Roger Federer,” he said, choosing his 3-6 6-1 7-5 victory over the 40-year-old.
“My win against Roger meant a lot to me because he was my idol. He is as for everyone, you know.
“I would say Roger’s win was very important in my career. Beating Stefanos today was, as well, really, really important match.”
Having shocked the second seed to reach the last-four, Basilashvili also admitted he wasn’t surprised in the high level he was displaying in the Californian desert.
He said: “Surprised? Not really.
“I have been playing good tennis a long time on practices. I just couldn’t, didn’t have the kind of first serve. I was missing. I had big minus in the serve.
“I improved a lot my serve lately. I think that’s why I’m in the semis now.
“In general, in the game, from the baseline I’m physically as well, feeling really good, I’m playing good, feeling the ball really well. Again, if I will manage this kind of serving well, I can keep playing good.”
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