Roger Federer’s worrying slump continued Thursday when he was knocked out of the Swiss Open by world number 55 Daniel Brands in another shattering blow just a month out from the US Open.
The German spoiled former world number one Federer’s return to the tournament after nine years
with a shock 6-3, 6-4 second round upset.
World number five Federer has won only the Halle title this season after claiming his 17th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2012. Last week, the 31-year-old was stunned by Argentine qualifier Federico Delbonis, the world number 114, in the Hamburg semi-finals.
That defeat came just a month after Federer was knocked out of Wimbledon by Ukraine’s world no. 116 Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round. That brought to an end a run of 36 consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final appearances for the Swiss.
Thursday’s 65-minute upset left Federer scrambling to find some form ahead of the US Open in four weeks’ time.
Federer had made a celebrated return to the small claycourt tournament at Gstaad where he got his start on the ATP Tour 15 years ago as a teenaged wildcard entry. He lost in the first round in each of his first four appearances, from 1998 through 2001.
The fifth-ranked Swiss — his lowest standing in a decade — was competing in this elite alpine village at 800 metres nine years after last appearing in a title-winning performance.