'Greek Freak' stuns Federer in dramatic upset
ROGER Federer has been eliminated from the Australian Open in incredible circumstances on Rod Laver Arena.
Federer was the victim of one of the biggest upsets seen at this year's Open following a match of high drama.
The 20-time slam king was simply out-matched by rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas who has now established himself as the clear leader of the next generation.
The Greek star eventually prevailed after a rollercoaster fourth set tiebreak 6-7 7-6 7-5 7-6.
The fourth set was marred in controversy when Federer bristled as Tsitsipas called for a trainer at 4-3 on serve.
Federer complained that Tsitsipas had been able to call for the trainer 10 minutes before he eventually received his treatment, suggesting the Greek star did not actually have a medical emergency that required medical aid.
TV commentators also said it was clear that Tsitsipas was simply in need of the trainer because of his lack of conditioning for marathon tennis matches.
Federer complained to the chair umpire and was clearly seething.
"Federer not exactly happy at that changeover, having a chat to the umpire about the physio," John McEnroe said in commentary for Channel 9.
Tsitsipas added further insult to Federer by taking a long time to walk back out onto court while Federer stood on the service line ahead of his service game.
Tsitsipas had already been warned twice for time violations and a third violation would have seen him lose the first point of that service game.
"He would want to be careful. Won't want to push it too much. The umpire, I think, was lenient there," Aussie legend Todd Woodbridge said in commentary.
"It was just a normal changeover and he took a lot longer."
Federer didn't look too happy about that trainer call from Tsitsipas. And even less now with that late change of racquet. Mind Games Are On.— Carole Bouchard (@carole_bouchard) 20 January 2019
Physio on to massage Tsitsipas legs during changeover at 4-3 in 4th, potentially two games from victory. Federer not happy about it. Would have thought he might be encouraged seeing that personally. Kid might be cramping.— David Law (@DavidLawTennis) 20 January 2019
Some tennis commentators said Federer was absolutely right to complain, saying it is unfair for players to receive treatment for cramps or muscle fatigue.
The Australian Open crowd didn't like Tsitsipas' gamesmanship either and he was booed as he returned to the court.
The match then headed for a tiebreaker where Tsitsipas shot out of the blocks with an early mini-break before Federer snatched one back before they changed ends at 3-3.
As the match approached the four hour mark Tsitsipas brought up his first match point on serve at 6-5.
It was all he needed to seal a famous result, snatching a spot in the quarter-finals with his first match point opportunity when Federer dumped a backhand into the net.
Tsitsipas now plays Roberto Bautista Agut in the last eight.
Federer refused to blame the early umpire controversies for his defeat, saying instead his inability to get a look in on Tsitsipas' serve was the reason he fell short.
Federer went 0-12 on break point opportunities throughout the match and also failed to break Tsitsipas' serve when they played at the Hopman Cup in Perth earlier this week.
"It's human and it's part of the game," Federer said of the umpire controversies.
"I'm not going to start complaining about linesman or umpires."
He said his struggles with returning Tsitsipas' serve were "very frustrating" and he confessed to having "massive regrets" about the way he played the match.
He also made it clear that Tsitsipas firmly deserved his big win.
"I lost to a better player who was playing really well tonight," he said.