Michel Kratochvil has been knocked out in the second round of the ATP tennis tournament in Hong Kong. The Swiss number two went down in straight sets (5-7, 4-6) to Brazil's André Sa.
The first set was a tight affair and seemed to be heading for a tie-break. But with the score at 5-6, Kratochvil (ATP 51) suffered an untimely break against his serve.
The 22-year-old from Bern staged a mini-fightback in the second set, taking an early 3-1 lead. But despite being more than 50 world rankings below Kratochvil, Sa was able to draw himself back into contention, before wrapping up victory with a great passing shot.
Kratochvil, who had been enjoying a good couple of weeks on the tour before Thursday's defeat, said he was unhappy about the playing surface in Hong Kong.
The Swiss player had already made a complaint before the match, after hearing at short notice that it had been moved onto a court normally used for warming up or for doubles matches.
After his defeat, Kratochvil argued that the surface had been extremely hard and fast.
"I wore out the soles of two pairs of shoes," Kratochvil lamented.
Despite his latest set-back, Kratochvil has had cause to celebrate in Hong Kong this week. By overcoming Spain's Francisco Clavet (ATP 60) in the first round, Kratochvil has made sure of a place in the world's top 50 when the new rankings are published on Monday.
He is only the sixth Swiss man to enter the top 50.
swissinfo with agencies