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Tough day for Gagliardi

The gods weren't shining on Gagliardi on Friday

(Keystone Archive)

Switzerland's Emmanuelle Gagliardi has been knocked out of the WTA tournament in Strasbourg just hours after being handed a tricky opening tie at next week's French Open.

Gagliardi's competitive preparations for the Paris Grand Slam event were ended on Friday by American third seed Meghann Shaughnessy who came from behind to win their Strasbourg quarter-final encounter 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.

The Swiss number three's impressive start against a player ranked more than 30 places above her in the world standings might have boded well for Roland Garros - if it weren't for the fact that Gagliardi is now set to face an even stronger opponent at the start of her French Open campaign.

Daunting Dokic

Friday's draw has pitted the 25-year-old Genevan against world number nine Jelena Dokic.

The talented Yugoslav teenager has won all three of her previous encounters against Gagliardi, with her most recent win coming in straight sets at this year's clay-court tournament in Amelia Island.

Friday's French Open draw was a good deal kinder to Swiss women's number two Patty Schnyder and number four Marie-Gaïané Mikaelian, both of whom will face qualifiers in the opening round.

Swiss number one Martina Hingis is still recovering from the foot operation which she underwent in Zurich on Monday and is having to miss out on the French Open - the only Grand Slam tournament which she has yet to win.

Federer among favourites

In Hingis's absence, hopes of Swiss Grand Slam glory have switched to the men's draw where Roger Federer is being seen as a possible title contender.

The 20-year-old from Basel celebrated his first appearance in the world's top ten on Monday, following his impressive victory at the Masters Series tournament in Hamburg.

Federer is set to open his Grand Slam bid against Moroccan world number 45 Hicham Arazi in what will be the first meeting between the two men. The match will also offer a taster for September's Davis Cup World Group qualifying round, when Switzerland and Morocco are set to do battle in Casablanca.

Champion challenge for Heuberger

Ivo Heuberger has undoubtedly been given the toughest assignment of all the Swiss participants. Currently ranked 116th in the world, the Swiss number four has been drawn against reigning French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil, who will be looking to win his fourth Roland Garros title this year.

Swiss men's number two Michel Kratochvil has a much stronger chance than Heuberger of reaching the second round. Kratochvil (ATP 49) is due to take on Slovakia's Dominik Hrbaty (ATP 56). It will be the third meeting between the two men, who have each won one of their two previous encounters.

swissinfo with agencies

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