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Stakhovsky Overcomes 'Two Federers'

Wimbledon, England

Stakhovsky© AFP/Getty ImagesSergiy Stakhovsky beat a Top 10 player for the first time.

Former US Open boys’ singles finalist, ATP World Tour Player Council member, speaker of five languages and controversial social media guru were some of the more notable identities associated with Sergiy Stakhovsky entering Wimbledon.

But after Wednesday, the Ukranian’s most significant label may relate to his improbable upset over seven-time champion Roger Federer in the second round of The Championships, ending Federer’s streak of 36 successive major quarter-final appearances.

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Stahkovsky held his nerve to notch his first Top 10 victory on his 21st attempt, despite overcoming ‘two Federers’ on tennis’ grandest stage, Centre Court at the All England Club.

“You're playing the guy and then you're playing his legend, which is following him because he won it seven times,” explained Stakhovsky. “He's holding all possible career records here, I think, winning matches and everything. You're playing two of them. 

“When you're beating one, you still have the other one who is pressing you. You're saying, ‘Am I about to beat him? Is it possible?’…  I was saying that if I'm going to hold to him in the beginning of the match, then I have a chance of maybe even doing something. But if he would run away from me in the beginning, then you cannot catch the Federer train.”

Stakhovsky was unable to expand on his emotions after the match, saying, “I'm still lost somewhere,” but had nothing but praise for fellow council member Federer. 

“He's the greatest player we had. He's the biggest name we had and we still have, thank God,” Stakhovsky said. “And I think as a person he showed us that you don't have to be really somewhere else, you can be a decent man achieving a lot of things and still be a person which everybody admires.”

The 27 year old will meet Jurgen Melzer next. Stakhovsky has an opportunity to reach the second week of a major tournament for the first time.

“I hope I can come out with a great performance the next round.  That's what you have to do in order to win,” said Stakhovsky. “[Winning] today was great, but I didn't win the tournament. I just won the second round. There's another five rounds.”

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