In the clash of the defending champion and the upcoming youngster, Wayne Ferreira defeated Roger Federer 7-6, 3-6, 6-2 in the second round of Stuttgart Masters. The South African needed an hour and 45 minutes to take down the rival who was fighting for the place at the Masters Cup, suffering a significant blow in the race to Sydney and not feeling positive vibes about his game at the moment.
Wayne faced only two break points in the entire encounter, getting broken once in the second set before finding his best tennis again to dominate in the decider and leave Roger behind. After the match, the Swiss said he didn't play that bad in sets one and two, staying in touch with Ferreira before fading from the court in the decider, lacking matches after that groin injury that he carried from Wimbledon and playing with low confidence in the last couple of months.
"This match was an excellent chance to build my confidence but it went the other way; things have been mostly negative recently. At the beginning of the third set, I had my first terrible service game of the entire match; that was one of the crucial moments.
I had some chances in the first set but he was serving really well, also getting back a lot of returns and forcing me to work hard in my service games. I think Wayne played a good match today. Overall, it was a solid clash that I ruined with the performance in the final set.
Until that point, we were both on a high level. I knew it's going to be tough after he beat Hrbaty in three sets; he got confidence because he won the title here last year. Hopefully, he can go far."