Roger, over and out

Roger Federer lost a shocking three-set match at the Rogers Cup on Wednesday. SUN MEDIA/Stan Behal

Roger Federer lost a shocking three-set match at the Rogers Cup on Wednesday. SUN MEDIA/Stan Behal

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:52 AM ET

All that talk of the dominance of the top three seeds in men's tennis came to an abrupt halt last night, thanks to a 23-year-old Frenchman by the name of Gilles Simon.

Simon knocked off the world's No. 1 player, Roger Federer, in a shocking three-set upset last night in the second round of the Rogers Cup at the Rexall Centre.

Following his bye in the opening round, Federer became the first No. 1 seed to bow out in his first game of the tournament since Lleyton Hewitt was upset by Felix Mantilla back in 2002.

Simon, ranked No. 22, was coming off a win last weekend in Indianapolis in an event skipped over by most of the sport's top-ranked players who were taking a rest after a taxing Wimbledon tourney.

It was Simon's fourth victory in six years on tour. But it paled in comparison to knocking off the king last night which he did, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.

"I don't think you win too many times against the No. 1 in the world," Simon said. "I don't know how many times that can happen in the career of a player so, for sure, this is my best victory. Even if he is not No. 1 next week, he is right now so good for me."

No one seemed more surprised or disappointed by the result than Federer.

"Missed opportunities, I guess," he said in trying to explain the upset. "One of those matches, maybe I think I never should have lost --having an easy volley at 3-1 and game point. That cost me dearly in the end. A disappointing match really."

When it was suggested to Federer that perhaps he was both mentally and physically drained from that marathon final with Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon, he couldn't hold his tongue.

"You wouldn't have asked me that if I would have won, right?" he asked, clearly unhappy with the question.

Federer felt the result was more a case of his game not reaching its normal peak than it was anything Simon did.

"I had everything to really put him away, I thought, but I really didn't serve very well at all," Federer said. "It was tough. I was serving 70% at Wimbledon and here I am serving 50%.

"Can't serve any aces, so it's just a different type of the match," he said. "Maybe, I guess, first match on a hard court, I couldn't sneak through maybe the way I usually can, so it hurts obviously. It hurts your momentum because I think I (can) get through the match and ... start playing better. But I got caught cold."

Nadal, meanwhile, had his own problems in his first action since that Wimbledon match for the ages. He was slow to get going against qualifier Jesse Levine. The Canadian born left-hander who moved to the U.S. at the age of 13 and now plays under the Stars and Stripes, had Nadal down 4-1 before he really knew what was happening.

The problems came when it finally did occur to him exactly what he was doing.

"I think I was in that zone, not sure really where I was, and then I kind of came to my senses and realized that I'm playing Nadal on Stadium Court," the Nepean-born Levine said. "Obviously, nerves got a little bit of me there."

That 4-1 lead quickly became 4-4 with Nadal regaining control of the match for a 6-4, 6-2 win.

Nadal, however, was nowhere close to being satisfied with his play.

On the other hand, unlike Federer, he dodged his bullet, and lives to play another day in this tournament.


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