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Disappointment for Swiss tennis players

Swiss tennis stars Michel Kratochvil, Marie-Gaïané Mikaelian and Emmanuelle Gagliardi all suffered first round defeats on Monday.

Kratochvil lost in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 to Holland's Sjeng Schalken, a player he beat in Tokyo in October last year.

"I made far too many mistakes. I wasn't feeling 100 per cent out there on court," said a deflated Kratochvil after the match.

The Bernese player said he would be taking a few days' rest before hitting the practice court in earnest to fine tune his game in time for the French Open at Roland Garros which kicks off later this month.

Over at the Italian Open in Rome, Mikaelian missed a fine chance to dump France's Mary Pierce out of the tournament, losing in three sets 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

Both players made numerous unforced errors in what was an untidy match, before Pierce secured the win with her third match point.

For Gagliardi, there was to be no repeat of last year's heroics when she defeated Belgium's Kim Clijsters, the current world number three, in the second round in Rome.

The Geneva player was well beaten by 18-year-old Julia Vakulenko 7-5, 6-0. It was the Ukrainian's first win of the season.

swissinfo with agencies


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