Switzerland's Roger Federer has been knocked out in the first round of the ATP tournament in St Pölten, Austria.
Despite being seeded sixth for the 425,000 dollar event, Federer was convincingly beaten in straight sets (2-6, 1-6) by Germany's Markus Hantschk, who is currently 94th in the world rankings.
A rising star of Swiss tennis, Federer is yet to look convincing on clay. Tuesday's defeat is the fifth time in a row that the 18-year-old from Basel has suffered a first round exit. The slump in form could hardly have come at a much worse time with the French Open now just days away.
Meanwhile, two of the three Swiss men involved in the qualification rounds for the Grand Slam tournament are already heading for home. Lorenzo Manta, ranked fifth for the qualifying rounds, was surprisingly beaten by French wildcard Nicolas Mahut.
Ivo Heuberger was soundly defeated by Dutchman Raemon Sluiter (6-3, 6-2), failing to win a single service game in the second set. Only Berne's Michel Kratochvil made it through the first qualifying round, seeing off Brazil's Daniel Melo (7-6, 6-4). Kratochvil will take on Spain's Albert Montanes in the second round.
swissinfo with agencies