Spaniard David Ferrer failed to get back on the winning track on his return after losing in the French Open final as he lost his Topshelf Open title on Tuesday, going down 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 to veteran Belgian Xavier Malisse in the first round.
Ferrer, who lost in straight sets to compatriot Rafael Nadal in the final at Roland Garros 11 days ago, admitted that he had not had the best training for the match, because he had practiced on hard courts last week in Spain.
Malisse, 32 and ranked 60th in the world, prevailed in 89 minutes over the top seed to set up a second-round meeting with Lu Yen-hsun, the Taiwanese player having beaten Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-1, 7-6 (7/3) earlier on Tuesday.
“Xavier is a very good player [he has reached the semi-finals of this tournament in the past three years] and I am disappointed to have lost my first match,” said the 31-year-old Ferrer, who reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals last year.
Ferrer’s departure leaves Swiss player Stanislas Wawrinka as the top-ranked player and the second seed made no mistake progressing to the second round with a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 win over lucky loser Steve Darcis of Belgium.
Wawrinka, who is appearing at the tournament for the first time in nine years, is to play Paolo Lorenzi of Italy in the second round.
Another seed joined Ferrer in exiting at the first-round stage as French fourth seed Benoit Paire retired with a severe right adductor strain in the first set against compatriot Michael Llodra, the 2004 champion and 2005 runner-up.