Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis celebrated the greatest win of his career after upsetting world number one Roger Federer 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 in the third round of the Indian Wells ATP tournament on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old, who had lost to the Swiss in all six of their previous meetings, saved three match points before clinching the decisive tiebreak 7-4.
Baghdatis, beaten by Federer in four sets at the 2006 Australian Open final, kissed the ground in celebration after his opponent failed to return a powerful first serve.
The Cypriot’s shock win against a 16-times grand slam champion earned him a place in the fourth round against Spaniard Tommy Robredo, who beat Israel’s Dudi Sela 6-3, 6-0 earlier in the day.
“A lot of emotions are going through right now,” Baghdatis said. “It’s the best win of my career. I lost a lot of matches against those top guys, and it’s a relief to win a match like that. It’s a great moment for me.”
Federer, beaten for only the second time in 13 matches this year and playing his first tournament since winning the Australian Open in January, reflected on the fine line between victory and defeat.
“I just couldn’t find the way to win,” he said after losing the third-set tiebreak 7-4.