Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych never found his rhythm against the rarity of the serve-and-volley style of Michael Llodra.
The seventh-seeded Berdych lost in straight sets in the first round of the U.S. Open on Wednesday. Llodra, ranked 35th and known more as a doubles player, won 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-4.
"I don't even know if I played well or not," Berdych said.
Llodra played serve-and-volley on 78 points, winning 60 of them. The 30-year-old Frenchman had lost in 22 of his 36 first-round matches at Grand Slams.
"Today it was perfect because I served pretty good — not aces, but a lot of good first serves," Llodra said. "And my volley was unbelievable."
Berdych managed just three break points, converting none of them.
"I had no chance to play my tennis, and it's well done for him," Berdych said.
Berdych is the highest-seeded man to lose so far this year at Flushing Meadows. The 24-year-old from Czech Republic had been enjoying a breakthrough season at Grand Slam tournaments, reaching his first major semifinal at the French Open. He beat Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon before losing to Rafael Nadal in the final.
"I felt great this morning," Berdych said. "Even the heat, I didn't feel it."