Bernard Tomic’s poor clay-court form has continued just three weeks out from the French Open, the Australian knocked out of the Madrid Open by Italian Luca Vanni.
Fellow Australian, qualifier Thanasi Kokkinakis, also went out in the first round after succumbing to big-serving American Sam Querrey 6-4 6-7 (5/7) 6-3.
World No.26 Tomic was bundled out 6-3 4-6 6-7 (1-7) by Vanni – a qualifier ranked 117th – in the first round on Monday.
The 22-year-old blew his one set to love lead to extend his losing streak to three matches.
Tomic’s latest loss follows his first-round capitulation last week to Serbian world No.528 Janko Tipsarevic, and his gruelling second-round defeat earlier in April to Austria’s Andreas Haider-Maurer at the Monte Carlo Masters.
Madrid represented an opportunity for Tomic to revive his inconsistent season as he prepares for Roland Garros later this month and seeks to stay inside the top 32 for an assured seeding.
He still has the next fortnight up his sleeve, when he’ll contest the Rome Masters and Nice Open, but is running out of opportunities to turn around his recent disappointing form.
Meanwhile, John Isner overcame France’s Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (7-2) 6-4, while Rafael Nadal’s conqueror at the Barcelona Open last month, Fabio Fognini, eased into round two 6-2 6-3 over Santiago Giraldo.
Eleventh seed Feliciano Lopez needed three sets to beat Germany’s Benjamin Becker 7-5 3-6 6-4.
Nick Kyrgios is set to play on Tuesday against Spanish qualifier Daniel Gimeno-Traver, and faces a possible second-round showdown with world No.2 Roger Federer if he succeeds.
It follows Kyrgios’ straight-sets loss to Richard Gasquet on Sunday in the Estoril Open final – the 20-year-old world No.35’s first ATP tour final.
In the women’s draw, Australian Casey Dellacqua was been beaten 6-2, 6-1 by Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska in the second round.
But Samantha Stosur continued her encouraging return from a foot injury with a straight-sets win over Kaia Kanepi, 6-3 6-2.