LONDON, June 26 (Reuters) - Defending champion Roger Federer's remarkable run of reaching 36 consecutive grand slam quarter-finals or better was ended in a shock second-round Wimbledon defeat by unheralded Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky on Wednesday.
Federer's 6-7(5) 7-6(5) 7-5 7-6(5) loss in exactly three hours rocked Wimbledon to its core on a day that already seemed surreal after seven players withdrew or retired injured and third-seeded Russian Maria Sharapova also stumbled to defeat.
The last time Federer, who has won a record 17 grand slam titles, including seven gilded Challenge Cups, failed to reach at least the last eight was in the 2004 French Open.
But on day three of the championships an opponent ranked a lowly 116th in the world launched outrageous winners left, right and centre to bring Federer to his knees and condemn the Swiss to his earliest Wimbledon exit since a first-round loss in 2002. (Writing by Pritha Sarkar; Editing by Ken Ferris)