First round defeats for Rosset and Federer
Switzerland's top male tennis players, Marc Rosset and Roger Federer, have been knocked out in the first round of the Masters series in Cincinnati. Their early departures follow similar first round defeats in Toronto a week ago.
Federer was beaten in straight sets by the Spaniard Francisco Clavet, losing both sets on tie-breaks 6-7 (3-7), 6-7 (3-7). It was the Swiss teenager's fifth tournament defeat in a row, with his only recent victory coming in Switzerland's Davis Cup thrashing of Belarus.
Playing on a hardcourt surface against a claycourt specialist thirteen years older and four places further down the world rankings than himself, Federer certainly had opportunities to get back into the match. At 4-4 in the second set he won three break points against Clavet, but failed to convert any of them.
In the tie-break he led 3-1 before losing five points in a row. After another disappointing performance the only thing Federer will have to celebrate today is the day itself - which marks his nineteenth birthday.
Marc Rosset will be free to indulge in some of Federer's champagne after also going out in straight sets (6-4, 6-4) to the former world number one, Marcelo Rios. The first-round defeat was Rosset's ninth in 19 tournaments this year. Both he and Federer have just two weeks left to turn things round in time for the US Open.
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