When Canas defeated Roger Federer at Indian Wells and Miami

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When Canas defeated Roger Federer at Indian Wells and Miami

In the best years of his long career, Roger Federer dominated tennis. Few opponents were able to beat him from 2005 to 2007. On clay courts just Rafael Nadal, but occasionally there was some surprise. In those three years, Federer won 30 titles, including 8 Slams.

After ending 2006 with only five defeats, the Swiss showed up at the Indian Wells 2007 as the big favorite. Thirteen years have passed since that March, a very strange month for him. On fast surfaces, Roger seemed invincible, especially after winning the Australian Open the same year.

Yet it was perhaps the most unlikely opponent to give two disappointments to the Swiss: Guillermo Canas. The Argentinian was able to defeat the tennis dominator twice in two weeks, first at Indian Wells, and then at the Miami Open.

Canas was also the world no. 8 before being disqualified for 15 months after testing positive for a diuretic, which in some cases can hide other performance-enhancing substances. Canas rewrote his personal story at Indian Wells, where he participated as a lucky loser: imagining him winning against Federer was a utopia.

Yet in the second round of the California event, Canas does the impossible, not only by beating Federer 7-5, 6-2 but sending the Swiss on a tilt throughout the match (for once he lost his gentlemanly ways, venting his frustration), and his streak of 41 straight wins also ended.

Two weeks later the story repeats in Florida. In the fourth round, Federer faced again Canas. The Argentinian won with the final score of 7-6 (2) 2-6 7-6 (5). For the first time, there was the perception that Federer was not unbeatable on fast surfaces.

"It's one of those matches I should never have lost," said Roger in a subsequent interview. However, his 2007 was still an unforgettable year. Despite his defeats against Canas, Roger Federer won Wimbledon and the US Open.