Rome, May 11: World number one Roger Federer sensationally crashed out of the Rome Masters after losing his third round match to Italian wildcard Filippo Volandri.
Top seed Federer, a two-time beaten finalist here and the reigning Australian Open champion, made an astonishing 44 unforced errors in his shock 6-2, 6-4 defeat to a player ranked 53rd in the world.
Federer, who hit just two winners with his normally impeccable forehand, has now gone four tournaments without winning a title, his longest stretch without a trophy since he became world number one in February 2004.
While Federer packed his bags, second seed Rafael Nadal, Rome champion for the past two years, eased into the quarter-finals with a straightforward victory over Mikhail Youzhny.
Nadal, who earlier went to see a doctor after complaining of dizziness yesterday, was a picture of health in a 6-2, 6-2 demolition of the Russian 15th seed.
Nadal's victory extended his record winning streak on clay to a staggering 74 matches and clinched a last eight meeting with Serbian fifth seed Novak Djokovic.
Winner of three ATP titles this year, Djokovic beat Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis in straight sets.
Federer refused to make excuses for his surprise loss.
"My preparation was perfect," said the 25-year-old Swiss. "I played against a guy who was confident today and knew he had a chance. This is how it is in tennis. When it's a knock out system you know you're out in a second when you're not playing well."
"I just couldn't get into the game. I was serving horrendous, and you don't get any free points on clay if you are not serving well," Federer said.
Nadal said he felt no dizziness in his destruction of Youzhny.
"There were no dizzy spells today," said the 20-year-old Spaniard.
"I felt much better and there were no problems. It was a good day and I'm very happy with the result.
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