In a stunning performance, World No. 46 Andreas Seppi recorded one of his greatest victories to cause the biggest upset of the 2015 Australian Open yet, knocking out second seed and four-time champion Roger Federer 6-4, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (5) for a place in the fourth round .
It ended a 10-match losing streak against Federer, who saw his run of 11 straight semifinal appearances at Melbourne Park come to an end.
Federer last lost in the Australian Open third round in 2001.
Seppi struck 50 winners – seven fewer than Federer – and saved seven of 10 break point opportunities for victory in just under three hours.
It broke a 23-match losing streak against players in the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings and his first win over a World No. 2 since he beat Rafael Nadal at the 2008 ABM AMRO World Tennis Tournament.
Seppi broke Federer to love to go up 5-4, coolly saving three break points in the ensuing game.
Unlike Wednesday’s script against Simone Bolelli, when he came back to win in four sets, Federer was unable to stop the Italian from establishing a two-sets lead.
After trading breaks early in the second, Seppi once again broke for a 5-4 lead. With a little help from the net cord, Federer got back on serve, but his opponent still went on to claim the tie-break.
Looking to rally from two sets down for a 10th time in his career, Federer launched his comeback with a break early in the third.
But Federer struggled to make inroads in Seppi’s game in the fourth set, which ended with two stunning forehand winners.
Seppi struck an inside-out forehand winner to set up match point at 6/5 in the tie-break and then hit a forehand slice off-balance down the line to complete a famous victory.
Federer came into the Grand Slam championship having won his 83rd tour-level title at the Brisbane International, which marked his 1,000 career match win.
Only Jimmy Connors (1,253) and Ivan Lendl (1,071) have more match wins in the Open Era (since 1968).