Sunday, May 15, 2011

Video: Lopez blows Federer match on baffling overhead miss

Feliciano Lopez has had good wins before -- he defeated Rafael Nadal at Queen's Club and once upset Marat Safin en route to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon -- but this might have been his greatest. In front of a sold-out, hometown crowd in Madrid that included soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, the 29-year-old Spaniard had Roger Federer on the ropes, leading 5-2 in a final-set tiebreak. Federer lunged to sky a return lob during the next point and a simple overhead was all that stood between the 39th-ranked Lopez and four match points.

Then this happened:

It wasn't that Lopez didn't put it away or even that he didn't win the point, it's that he missed the overhead so badly. If a player misses a shot like that (and it's rare), it's usually because they catch it fat and hit it long or don't put enough on it and set up their opponent for an easy return. Somehow, Lopez weakly hit across his body and shanked the ball to his left for an unforced error. It was the equivalent of missing a two-foot putt by five feet.

Though he lost the next two points, Lopez came back and had a match point at 6-5 in the third-set breaker. He lost that point and would go on to lose 9-7.

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