HAMBURG, Germany — Roger Federer lost to Argentine qualifier Federico Delbonis 7-6 (7), 7-6 (4) Saturday in the semifinals of the German Tennis Championships.
Federer, a four-time champion in Hamburg, was outplayed by the 114th-ranked left-hander who advanced to his first career final.
"He played well, he was a little more aggressive," Federer said.
Federer took a wild card for Hamburg after losing in the second round at Wimbledon.
In the final, Delbonis will play Fabio Fognini of Italy. Fognini defeated third-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain 6-4, 7-6 (1).
Federer has dropped to No. 5, his lowest ranking in a decade. The 31-year-old Swiss ace's only title this year came on grass before Wimbleon in Halle, Germany.
The defending Wimbledon champion, Federer lost to No. 116 Sergiy Stakhovsky — a player who failed to qualify for Hamburg. It was his earliest Grand Slam defeat in 10 years, and his first loss to a player ranked outside the top 100 since 2005.
Federer changed his racket after Wimbledon, going for a bigger frame. But he struggled in Hamburg, going to three sets in two of his previous three matches.
Delbonis was playing only the second semifinal of his career. But he maintained his composure and gave Federer, the 17-time Grand Slam champion, only two break points, one of which he saved.
Federer broke for a 2-1 lead but was broken right back and had to save two set points to force the tiebreaker. He squandered a 4-2 lead, was unable to convert his one set point and saved three with service winners before Delbonis converted his fourth with a smash after some well-played points.
Federer came under pressure immediately in the second set and had to fend off three break points in his opening service game and another in the sixth. Delbonis saved one break point in the next game with a superb volley winner.
In the tiebreaker, Federer made two straight groundstroke errors and he netted a forehand on Delbonis' first match point.
Delbonis will improve to a career-high ranking of around No. 59, according to the ATP.
Fognini won his first career title in Stuttgart last week and is riding a nine-match winning streak.
"I feel incredible," Fognini said.
The Italian earned his 24th win on clay this season. Fognini is the second Italian to reach the final in Hamburg after Adriano Panatta lost to Manuel Orantes in 1972.
Almagro is second in career clay-court titles among active players with 12. Rafael Nadal has 42.
|San Diego||12/12/13 7:25 PM|
|Washington||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|San Francisco||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|Seattle||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|Chicago||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|Houston||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|Buffalo||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|New England||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|Philadelphia||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|Kansas City||12/15/13 3:05 PM|
|NY Jets||12/15/13 3:05 PM|
|Arizona||12/15/13 3:25 PM|
|New Orleans||12/15/13 3:25 PM|
|Green Bay||12/15/13 3:25 PM|
|Cincinnati||12/15/13 7:30 PM|
|Baltimore||12/16/13 7:40 PM|
|New York||47||3rd Qtr 11:06|
|San Antonio||67||3rd Qtr 8:22|
|Boston||43||2nd Qtr 4:31|
|Oklahoma City||38||2nd Qtr 4:26|
|Minnesota||53||2nd Qtr 3:36|
|Milwaukee||13||1st Qtr 5:26|
|Ottawa||1||2nd Prd 9:17|
|Tampa Bay||3||2nd Prd 7:40|
|New Jersey||3||2nd Prd 8:29|
|Los Angeles||5||2nd Prd 10:36|
|St. Louis||0||1st Prd 10:27|
|NY Islanders||9:30 PM|
|Cincinnati Christian||60||2nd Half 7:04|
|Mars Hill||70||2nd Half 8:21|
|Chowan||45||2nd Half 7:35|
|Oakland||40||2nd Half 10:56|
|Monmouth||52||2nd Half 11:30|
|Kansas||28||2nd Half 15:46|
|Green Bay||29||2nd Half 11:32|
|Albany||49||2nd Half 15:51|
|Fordham||54||2nd Half 7:55|
|Hartford||36||2nd Half 13:42|
|Central Conn St||50|
|Evansville||48||2nd Half 11:54|
|Hiwassee||43||2nd Half 13:29|
|Central Penn College||41||2nd Half|
|Savannah State||11||1st Half 11:57|
|South Dakota||12||1st Half 13:15|
|Dartmouth||10||1st Half 9:47|
|IUPU-Ft Wayne||7||1st Half 12:17|
|Ark-Little Rock||19||1st Half 9:44|
|South Dakota St||17||1st Half 8:59|
|CS-Bakersfield||8||1st Half 11:50|
|Idaho State||8:00 PM|
|Boise State||8:00 PM|
|Colorado College||8:05 PM|
|Pacifica College||9:00 PM|
|Army||12/14/13 2:00 PM|
|Albany||55||2nd Half 9:53|
|Bryant||60||2nd Half 10:02|
|UMass Lowell||56||2nd Half 11:00|
|Hofstra||33||2nd Half 12:02|
|Georgetown||58||2nd Half 6:59|
|SE Missouri St||7||1st Half 10:04|
|Tulsa||14||1st Half 11:30|
|Incarnate Word||5||1st Half 11:11|
|(23) Gonzaga||10||1st Half 11:10|
|Northern Iowa||7||1st Half 11:56|
|Chattanooga||18||1st Half 9:30|