Swiss number one Roger Federer is out of the $2.95 million Hamburg Masters Series after losing in straight sets to Argentina's Franco Squillari, 3-6, 4-6.This content was published on May 14, 2001 - 20:42
Defeat came as a bitter blow for Federer, who smashed his racket in frustration after losing the match.
"The balls are way too heavy, as they were in Rome. I kept thinking that I couldn't hit winners," he said.
Defeat against Squillari, who is ranked only one place below Federer in the ATP listings, was the Swiss' second first round exit in a Masters Series event this year.
But after quarter-final appearances in Miami and Monte Carlo, plus victory over the world number two, Marat Safin, in Rome, Federer was trying to remain positive.
He now has a fortnight to prepare for the French Open at Roland Garros, where he reached the fourth round last year.
"Paradoxically, Paris is the one Grand Slam tournament which attracts me the least, but it's where, for the time being anyway, I gained my best result," explained Federer. "My main objective will be to do as well as I did last year."
swissinfo with agencies
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