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Federer suffers surprise defeat

Federer's defeat was his first against Kucera Keystone

Roger Federer has been knocked out of the Grand Prix tennis tournament in Lyon, losing in the second round to Slovakia's Karol Kucera.

Kucera came into the match fifty places below Federer in the world ranking and had lost both the players’ previous encounters. It looked as if a third defeat would be a formality when the Swiss number one took the first set 6-3.

But after receiving physiotherapy for a back injury, the Slovakian rallied and it was Federer who began to appear out of sorts. Appearing tired and unfocussed, the 19-year-old from Basel threw away the next two sets 2-6, 1-6.

Federer’s usually strong service game also let him down, most notably at the start of the final set when he produced two double faults after leading 40-15.

Afterwards, Federer could offer few excuses for his performance. “I served badly and Kucera received well,” he said. “I didn’t feel good. It was a nothing match.”

swissinfo with agencies

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