• Swiss Open

Struggling Federer crashes out of Swiss Open

ESPN staff
July 25, 2013
Roger Federer cuts a dejected figure as he leaves the court after his loss © AP

Roger Federer suffered a shock 6-3 6-4 defeat to Daniel Brands in the second round of the Swiss Open in Gstaad.

Federer, who is currently testing a new bigger-headed racket ahead of the US Open in August, was seen off in little over an hour by the strong-serving German.

Federer, seeded first, saved a first match point by serving an ace when trailing 5-3, and a second in the next game with a forehand winner. Brands, who took a set off Federer in a second-round loss at Hamburg, then ended the 65-minute match with a service winner.

Federer was returning to Gstaad for the first time since he won the title in 2004 and where he debuted on the ATP Tour in 1998 as a 17-year-old ranked No. 702. He rarely loses an opening match. This defeat ranks alongside that of his round-of-64 exit in straight sets at Indian Wells in 2007 to Guillermo Canas of Argentina, then ranked No. 60.

Federer was hoping to tune his game in Gstaad and Hamburg after his second-round exit at Wimbledon. After a three-week break, he returned in Hamburg, testing his new racket yet citing back pains that limited his movement. He lost there in the semi-finals.

Brands broke Federer to lead 4-2 in the opening set when he put away an overhead at the net. But the German closed the first set with two aces, among his 11 for the match. Federer immediately lost serve in the second set by netting a backhand volley and saved three break-point chances to avoid trailing 3-0.

Federer was returning to Gstaad for the first time since lifting the trophy in 2004. Brands will now face Victor Hanescu, who advanced after eighth seed Roberto Bautista Agut retired with a back injury.

Meanwhile, Federer recently announced he will kick off his 2014 season at the Brisbane International.

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