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The shock of the tournament came on Centre Court this afternoon when number three seed Novak Djokovic has been knocked out of the Wimbledon Championships in straight sets by unseeded Marat Safin.

The Russian former world No1 triumphed 6-4, 7-6, 6-2, producing a masterclass of brutal serves and heavyweight ground strokes that had the Serb reeling. In the end it was all too much. Djokovic conceded with a feeble double-fault into the net.

Djokovic had said Federer, bidding for his sixth consecutive Wimbledon crown, was vulnerable after his recent lopsided French Open loss to No. 2-ranked Rafael Nadal.

The hype surrounding those comments set up an enticing semifinal. Now, it will be Safin who tries to go down that path.

Djokovic seemed to be vulnerable himself, playing on a surface he his not entirely comfortable on and struggling with his serve in a blustery breeze.

Djokovic had won 19 of his previous 21 Grand Slam matches and appeared in five straight major semifinals but today he played like someone the crowd had never seen before. He had a simply horrible day.

He shook his head as he walked forward, and hugged Safin across the net.

Grass is not Safin's favored surface, either. Wimbledon is the only major where he has not advanced beyond the quarterfinals. But he is a dangerous opponent now.

Safin said he came in under the radar, with Djokovic under all the pressure.

"He's the one who has to win matches. For me, nobody expects anything," said Safin, who admitted he had not dared look beyond the second round. "Now, I'll have to check — the way I'm playing now, I could go far."


(source Associated Press, photo/Ryan Pierse/Getty Images, AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

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Tags: djokovic, marat, novak, safin, wimbledon

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