Monte Carlo, Monaco (Sports Network) - Roger Federer again came up short in his quest for a Monte Carlo title, losing to Austria's Jurgen Melzer in the quarterfinals of this year's prestigious clay court event.
The seventh-seeded Melzer pulled off a 6-4, 6-4 triumph on Friday, beating Federer for the first time in four all-time meetings. This was, however, their first match on clay, and last year's French Open semifinalist broke Federer once in each set to claim the surprise victory.
Federer, who failed on seven break-point chances Friday, remains without a title in his 10 Monte Carlo appearances. He missed last year's tournament and was a round of 16 loser to fellow Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in his last visit in 2009.
Three times Federer has been a finalist at the Monte Carlo Country Club, but all three times he has lost to Rafael Nadal, who is gunning for his seventh straight Monte Carlo crown this week.
Nadal, who has won 34 straight matches at this event, will play later Friday against Croatian veteran Ivan Ljubicic. Scotland's Andy Murray will also play later against Portuguese qualifier Frederico Gil.
Fourth-seeded David Ferrer of Spain was also a quarterfinal winner on Friday, earning a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Serbia's Viktor Troicki. Ferrer and Melzer will meet in one of Saturday's semifinals.
This year's Monte Carlo champ will collect $625,000.
04/15 08:38:18 ET