Playing in his second Masters 1000 quarter-final of the season and the first on clay at that level, Roger Federer lost to Sebastien Grosjean 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 13 minutes in 2001. The young Swiss produced his best tennis on clay up to that point a day earlier against Arnaud Di Pasquale but that wasn't the case against other Frenchman, making too many errors and failing to find the rhythm and impose his shots.
Losing 18 points in nine service games, Grosjean fended off both break points he faced, taking 45% of the return points and earning three breaks from nine opportunities to seal the deal in no time at all and advance into the quarters.
"I was far from my best tennis today; I'm sad that I played on such a high level yesterday and then produced a performance like this. It's difficult, but my level couldn't come back today. I tried, but Sebastien played well too; he was touching the lines, it happens sometimes.
The wind was strong but it didn't bother me; that wasn't the problem today. For me, it's difficult to judge Sebastien's level. I was taking care of myself a lot; I tried to understand why I was missing so much.
I don't believe Sebastien did something extraordinary today, but it's enough for him. This is the reason why he's highly ranked. He's challenging to play against, he runs well. In the end, it's not bad to be in the quarter-final of your first tournament on clay this year.
I didn't expect that at the beginning of the week but I'm disappointed by what I did today; I could have done a lot better. But for the start of a season, it's all right. Each court is different from the other one.
Once I played against Sanguinetti on the Princes Court, whatever its name is, it was very slow; I almost couldn't do a single winner. I thought, "I can't play anymore. It's incredible." Today on the center court, it was slippery, fast, something had changed.
It was challenging to adapt. I believe Rome and the French Open are better for me. Hamburg might be like here, it's cold and the balls are hard. I'm already happy with this first week, the way I moved on the court. From time to time, I was not well positioned, but it happens to me on all surfaces.
I don't know, I think I must be able to put the ball in, be patient, wait for the right shot to attack. Especially against Chang on clay, I had the impression to have so much time that I can hit all the shots. Indoors, you have one opportunity and even if it's not very good, you take it.
On clay, I have the impression that each ball coming towards me is an opportunity, so I should calm myself down and wait until the best chance. This takes a bit of time, but I am going to practice and I think it will come."