March 11, 2007: Roger Federer is stunned by Guillermo Canas after 41 wins
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 9694
The first Masters 1000 tournament of 2007 season at Indian Wells gathered world's leading players for the second time after the US Open and Roger Federer was the top favorite to win the fourth straight title in the desert.
His winning at Indian Wells started back in 2004 and he was the dominant figure in men's tennis ever since, especially on the hard courts.In the summer of 2006, Federer claimed Wimbledon and Canada Masters titles before Andy Murray beat him in the second round of Cincinnati, the fifth and last loss he suffered that year.
He won five titles by the end of the season, including the US Open and Masters Cup and no one could stop him at the beginning of 2007 as well, dominating at both the Australian Open and Dubai to clinch 7 straight titles and win a career-high 41 matches in a row! He was free in the opening round of Indian Wells and his first rival was a lucky loser Guillermo Canas who stunned Roger 7-5 6-2 in an hour and 45 minutes to deliver the first loss of the world number 1 since August last year! This was their third meeting and the second win for Canas who also beat Roger at Canada Masters five years ago while the only win for the Swiss came here at Indian Wells in the semi-final of 2005. Canas defended his second serve better and he outplayed Roger from the baseline to score one of the most shocking results of the season, saving two out of three break points he faced and stealing Federer's serve four times from seven opportunities.
The Argentine tamed his shots nicely and Roger sprayed too many errors, unable to find his rhythm and impose his shots that would give him the upper hand in the exchanges. The first break of serve came in game five after a forced error from Roger but he pulled it back in the very next game when he stole Canas's serve at love to level the score at 3-3.
It all could have been different if Roger managed to convert a set point on the return in game 10, netting an easy forehand to miss a great chance and he also wasted another set point a few minutes later before Guillermo finally held after a backhand error from his rival.
Federer wasted a game point at 5-5 with another forehand mistake and he got broken when his backhand found the net three points later to send Canas 6-5 in front. The Argentine closed the opener with a forehand winner after 56 minutes and Roger received a medical treatment on his right foot in the pause between sets.
Guillermo broke him in the third game of the second set and he held after a few deuces in game six to move 4-2 ahead. A forehand winner in game seven sealed the deal for the Argentine as he moved two breaks clear of Roger with a chance to close the match on own serve in the game that followed.
He delivered a solid hold and crossed the finish line with a forced error from Roger, scoring the biggest win of his career after serving a 15 months ban for doping. Two weeks later he beat Federer again in Miami and this was the first time since the summer of 2004 that Roger failed to reach the final in back-to-back ATP events.
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