Tennis: Swiss men make bad start on grass

Marc Rosset amongst this week's early exits (archive) Keystone

With Wimbledon less than a fortnight away attention in the tennis world has switched from clay to grass. But on Monday, most of the Swiss players in action were finding their game had gone to seed.

This content was published on June 12, 2000 - 18:34

Roger Federer was the only man not looking too green as he took to the court against France's Arnaud Clement at the one million dollar ATP tournament in Halle, Germany. Federer eased into the second round with a straight sets win (6-4, 6-2), but the rest of Switzerland's top players were soon wishing they had kept off the grass.

Lorenzo Manta, George Bastl and Marc Rosset all elected to begin their preparations within a racket's throw of Wimbledon at the 800,000 dollar Stella Artois tournament.

Manta was the first to fall, beaten in straight sets by France's Julien Boutter. Another Frenchman then put paid to George Bastl's hopes, Sebastien Grosjean thrashing the Swiss player 6-1, 6-0.

The Swiss men's number one, Marc Rosset, made an even more abject exit against the veteran Haitian, Ronald Agenor. The 35-year-old Agenor won the first set 6-3, and was 2-0 up in the second when Rosset was forced to withdraw, suffering from a recurrent hayfever problems.

Should Rosset recover in time, he and the rest of the defeated Swiss players have the opportunity to stay in England next week for the Nottingham Open or try their luck at Holland's 's-Hertogenbosch tournament - the last ATP tournaments before Wimbledon gets underway.

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