(Reuters) - Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych has continued his poor form this year after a 6-4 6-2 defeat by unseeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the first round of the Madrid Open on Sunday.
Berdych has slipped to 17th in the rankings after failing to advance beyond the quarter-finals in all but one of his tournaments this year and will be worried about his French Open prospects after succumbing to back-to-back first round defeats on clay.
Gasquet, who reached the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals last month, dominate Berdych throughout the contest to reach the second round in Madrid for a fifth consecutive year.
In the only other match of the day, Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov marked his debut in Madrid with a 6-1 6-4 win over American Tennys Sandgren to progress to the next round.
The 19-year-old, who enjoyed a breakthrough season last year, has an underwhelming 12-10 win-loss record this campaign but is aiming to compete in the French Open main draw for the first time in his fledgling career.
Former world number one Novak Djokovic, the 10th seed, will open his Madrid Open campaign on Monday with a first round clash against Japan’s Kei Nishikori.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar