Quality grass-courter Xavier Malisse upset top-seeded and defending champion David Ferrer in Tuesday's opening-round action at the $545,000 Topshelf Open, a final grass-court Wimbledon tune-up.
The Belgian Malisse took out the world No. 4 French Open runner-up Ferrer in 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 fashion at Autotron Rosmalen. Malisse is now 16-41 lifetime against top-10 players.
"Xavier is a very good player and I am disappointed to have lost my first match," Ferrer said.
The two-time champion Den Bosch titlist Ferrer, of Spain, beat German Philipp Petzschner in last year's finale.
Day-3 upsets were avoided when second-seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka handled Belgian lucky-loser Steve Darcis 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 and fifth-seeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy topped France's Lucas Pouille 7-5, 6-4.
A mild upset came when veteran French left-hander Michael Llodra doused fourth-seeded compatriot Benoit Paire, who retired while trailing 3-0 in the first set. Llodra titled here in 2004 and was the Den Bosch runner-up in 2005.
Additional wins came for Romanian wild card Marius Copil, Taiwan's Yen-Hsun Lu, French qualifier Nicolas Mahut, and Czech qualifier Jan Hernych, who was a Den Bosch finalist in 2006.
On Wednesday, the now highest-standing seed Wawrinka will face Italian Paolo Lorenzi.