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Australian Open: Moments go begging for Roger Federer

His aura disappearing, Roger Federer missed the big moments at Melbourne Park on Friday.

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It was a matter of when, not if.

Roger Federer would eventually take control against a man he had beaten 10 straight times.

It seemed certain to happen.

It never did.

Instead, King Roger bowed out in the Australian Open third round for the first time since 2001.

Then, he was 19, yet to win a grand slam and yet to develop the aura of the unbeatable - just ask Arnaud Clement.

That aura is slowly disappearing, as Italian Andreas Seppi showed in his 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 7-6 (7-5) victory on Rod Laver Arena on Friday.

Every grand slam is supposed to be Federer's fairytale 18th major title - one that has eluded him since Wimbledon in 2012.

With every passing slam, it appears less likely to happen for the 33-year-old.

Seppi, a solid baseliner who had struggled to trouble the best throughout his career, broke to love in the ninth game of the first set.

Federer's errors - including a double fault - helped, and then he saved three break points on his way to serving out the set.

They are the big moments in which the best usually step up, but Federer missed his chances.

Federer was broken twice in the second set, and responded both times.

But since when does the man cough up a 4-1 lead in a tie-break?

Federer took control of the third set - most still thinking he would just lift a level and go on with it.

But once he failed to break early in the fourth, the possibility of an incredible upset was well and truly on the cards.

The second tie-break, Federer led 3-1 and 5-4 - then he lost two points on his serve and Seppi's floating forehand somehow landed in to win the match.

Federer's forehand had looked particularly worrying throughout, and that side was responsible for 31 unforced errors.

He won more points (145-144), but not enough of the ones that mattered.

The moments used to belong to Federer, but his moment never came on Friday.

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