MONACO (Reuters) - A completely out-of-sorts Roger Federer lost 6-4 6-4 to Austria's Juergen Melzer in blustery conditions at the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals on Friday.
The Swiss, who has never won on the Monaco clay, had looked imperious in his previous two matches but never got going against the seventh seed on the breezy shores of the Mediterranean.
Melzer broke for 3-2 in the first set when second seed Federer netted the first of a number of easy forehands and the Austrian then immediately saved a break point on his own serve before taking the set and similarly sealing the second.
Federer, who last won a tournament in Doha in early January, had looked on course for a possible final with world number one and defending champion Rafa Nadal but his build-up to next month's French Open has now suffered a surprise blow.
(Reporting by Mark Meadows; Editing by Ken Ferris)