Published Wednesday, June 30, 2010 | 4:14 p.m.
Updated Wednesday, June 30, 2010 | 4:17 p.m.
LONDON — There was a big shock on Centre Court Wednesday at Wimbledon.
Six-time champion Roger Federer, the winner here last year, was defeated in the quarterfinals by Tomas Berdych, 6-4 3-6 6-1 6-4.
Berdych ended Federer’s hopes of reaching his 26th Grand Slam semifinal to match the record of Andre Agassi.
Only Ivan Lendl (28) and Jimmy Connors (31) have surpassed this figure.
Federer’s struggle for consistency today was key to his downfall as his Czech opponent – a first time Grand Slam semi-finalist in the French last month – pulled off the biggest victory of his career.
Federer had not lost before the championship match of a major since 2002.
“I just felt like I got the unlucky bounce once in a while,” he said. “Also I couldn’t play the way I wanted to play. I’m struggling with a bit of a back and a leg issue.”
It was the first time since 2007 that the top four seeds have reached a Grand Slam quarterfinal. Third-seeded Novak Djokovic used sensational serving to beat Taiwan’s Yen-Hsun Lu 6-3 6-2 6-2.
Second-seeded Rafael Nadal was up against the man he beat last month to capture the French Open, Robin Soderling.
Nadel started sluggishly in dropping the first set, but he rebounded nicely with a 3-6 6-3 7-6 (4) 6-1 win.
Andy Murray was bidding to reach the semis for the second straight year after losing to eventual runner-up Andy Roddick last year.
He was playing Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, the powerful Frenchman who reached the semis of this year’s Australian Open.
Murray, the top British player, also started slow in dropping the first set and running into trouble in the second. But he rallied for a 6-7 (5) 7-6 (5) 6-2 6-2 win and will face Nadel Friday.
James Borg has reported on the Wimbledon Championships over the last 30 years. He has worked in Las Vegas and regularly writes travel articles about the area. He lives in London