10 things to know about Andreas Seppi - The man who stunned Roger Federer
Andreas Seppi made a name for himself in the tennis world on Friday by sending Roger Federer out of the Australian Open, handing the Swiss legend his earliest exit in Melbourne since 2001. While hardcore tennis fans may be well aware of Seppi, for many others, Seppi is a relative unknown. To bring you up to speed, here are 10 things to know about Andreas Seppi, the man who stunned Roger Federer in four sets on Friday.
- Seppi is an Italian player, who turns 31 years old in February, with a current ranking of No. 46. He has been as high as no. 18 in January 2011.
- Seppi played a number of sports while growing up besides tennis - snow skiing, ice hockey and football. He decided to pursue tennis seriously only when he was 14 years old and says playing several sports as a youngster helped him develop as an athlete and maintain a balance.
- His idol while growing up was the former World No. 1 from Russia, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who presented him the trophy when he won the Kremlin Cup in 2012. “It was his backhand that I really admired. I wanted to have a backhand like his. I even cut out a small photo of him and placed it in my wallet. I have kept it all these years and when I won Moscow, I showed it to him after the trophy presentation. He was kind enough to autograph it for me.”
- Before Friday, he had lost to Roger Federer on all 10 previous occasions that they had met, winning only one of 22 sets that they had played.
- This is the second time in his career that he has beaten a World No. 2. Seppi also defeated then World no. 2 Rafael Nadal in Rotterdam in 2008.
- This is Seppi’s 39th appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam event, and only the fourth time that he has advanced to the last 16. He will be aiming to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final for the first time in his career when he takes on Nick Kyrgios on Sunday. The two have played once before – at the US Open last year in the second round, when Kyrgios won in straight sets.
- Seppi reached the fourth round of a major for the first time in his career at the 2012 French Open, where he lost to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, after taking a two sets to love lead. Seppi says he did not think about that match as Federer came back to take the third set on Friday. “I wasn't thinking about anything, I have to say, about this match. As I said, I was very calm. I really enjoyed the atmosphere out there. I was not thinking I'm leading two sets to love or two sets to one. It was going to the end, the match, so just if I could do that any time, it would be great, yeah.”
- He has 3 ATP singles and 6 ATP doubles titles to his name. He also has won 7 ATP Challenger titles and in 2014, helped Italy reach the semi-finals of the Davis Cup for 1st time in 16 years with a fifth-rubber win over Britani’s James Ward.
- Seppi does not like the travelling associated with being a tennis pro ‘I don’t like the travel, the long flights, and staying in the airports. After 10 years flying every week it is getting a little bit tired.”
- This is the second time in Melbourne that Seppi has hit the headlines. At the 2007 Australian Open, he overcame a matchpoint to beat American Bobby Reynolds in a five-setter. The match started late due to the heat and eventually finished at 3-34 AM, which at the time was the latest time a Grand Slam match had ever finished. That record was eclipsed the next year at the Australian Open when the match between Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis ended at 4:33am.