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Tough start for Swiss second strings

Kratochvil suffered his fifth first round defeat in a row on Monday Keystone Archive

After the glamour of the US Open it was back to the harsh realities of life on the road for Patty Schnyder and Michel Kratochvil on Monday, with the Swiss number twos both suffering opening round defeats in their latest tournaments.

Having taken Belgian world number eight Justine Henin to an unexpected three sets during the second round of the Grand Slam event in New York, Schnyder crashed back to earth at the Brazilian Open with a straight sets defeat to South Africa’s Joanette Kruger.

Playing against an opponent more than 20 places below her in the new world rankings, the Swiss number two conceded a first set tie-break before going on to lose 6-7 (4-7), 4-6.

On the other side of the world the Swiss men’s number two was faring no better.

Beaten in the first round of the US Open after a gruelling five-setter against Russian number six Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Kratochvil again faced defeat on Monday, though to a slightly less illustrious opponent.

In the first round of the Tashkent tournament in Uzbekistan, the Bernese player was despatched in straight sets (2-6, 3-6) by Slovakian qualifier Jan Kroslak – a player exactly 200 places below Kratochvil in the ATP rankings.

The defeat marked Kratochvil’s 12th first round exit of the season, and his fifth in a row.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR