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Federer falls at first fence

Federer was unable to repeat last year's heroics

(Keystone)

Swiss tennis star Roger Federer has suffered a shock first round defeat at Wimbledon, crashing out in straight sets to Croatian qualifier Mario Ancic.

Playing on centre court, the Swiss seventh seed was expected to make light work of Ancic, a relatively unknown 18-year-old who is currently ranked 154th in the world. Instead though it was the Croat who brushed aside Federer, dismissing the 20-year-old from Basel 6-3, 7-6, 6-3.

No-one was more surprised than Federer himself, it seemed.

"It's a mystery," the Swiss player admitted afterwards. "I've got no problems physically and I expected much more than to come here and lose in straight sets. To come out and play such tennis, it's just a shocker."

Federer's defeat marked the first major upset of this year's Wimbledon and prompts memories of last year's event when Ancic's compatriot Goran Ivanisevic won the tournament after being handed a wildcard entry by the organisers.

Ivanisevic is missing from this year's competition because of injury but, almost as if to emphasise the parallels, the reigning champion's father could be seen in the player's box on Tuesday - cheering on Ancic.

Tipped for title

After winning his first Masters Series title in Hamburg in May to break into the world's top ten, Federer was tipped as a possible contender for title glory at the prestigious Wimbledon event.

But in stark contrast to last year, when the young Swiss reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals thanks to an impressive win over seven-time champion Pete Sampras, Federer is now contemplating his second Grand Slam disappointment in a row - having also spun out in the opening round of last month's French Open.

Surprise win for Casanova

Aside from Federer's early exit it was generally a good day for the Swiss with Michel Kratochvil, Myriam Casanova, Emmanuelle Gagliardi, Patty Schnyder and Marc Rosset all booking their places in the second round.

Casanova's win was easily the most surprising of the day with the 17-year-old world number 180 easing past Slovakia's Henrieta Nagyova in straight sets (7-5, 6-4).

The victory marked somewhat of a repeat performance for the young Swiss qualifier, who also grabbed a shock point off Nagyova during Switzerland's 2-3 defeat to Slovakia in April's Fed Cup encounter.

World number 18 Patty Schnyder got off to a bad start against Tatiana Perebiynis from Ukraine, however, the 21-year-old managed to pull through and won 3-6, 7-6, 7-5.

Swiss player Marc Rosset booked his place in the second round of the tournament by beating Juan Acasuso from Argentina. The Swiss player, who is currently ranked 115th in the world, defeated the world number 87 6-3, 7-6, 6-1.

Kratochvil cruises

Kratochvil (ATP 45) wrapped up a much more expected victory over Russia's Nikolai Davydenko (ATP 84), also winning in straight sets (6-4, 6-2, 6-4) to set up a second round encounter with Georgia's Irakli Labadze (ATP 86).

Gagliardi (WTA 47) meanwhile made hard work of her opening round tie against British wildcard Hannah Collin (WTA 403).

Stealing the first set 6-1, Gagliardi was unable to get a similar grip on the second set, which she eventually lost on a tie-break.

Despite losing a further service game early in the third set, the Swiss rediscovered her rhythm just in time to clinch a 6-1, 6-7 (1-7), 6-2 victory.

swissinfo with agencies


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