July 25 (Reuters) - Top seed Roger Federer suffered a shock 6-3 6-4 defeat to Germany’s Daniel Brands in his opening match at his home Swiss Open on Thursday - the latest setback for the former world number one.
The 17-times grand-slam champion was beaten in 66 minutes by the 55th-ranked Brands in the second round in Gstaad, a week after beating the same player in the Hamburg tournament.
Federer, 31, recently slipped out of the world’s top four for the first time since 2003 following a shock defeat by journeyman Sergiy Stakhovsky at Wimbledon and last week lost in the Hamburg semi-finals to 114th-ranked Argentine Federico Delbonis.
Losing in his own backyard will be particularly galling for Federer, who recently switched to a larger-headed racket.
Defeats against players ranked outside the top 10 used to be almost unheard of when Federer dominated men’s tennis but they are now happening on a more regular basis.
Federer’s only title this year came on grass at Halle and he has reached only one other final, losing to Rafael Nadal at the Rome Masters. (Writing by Martyn Herman; Editing by Clare Fallon)