- ATP Tour
Federer and Haas defeated on partnership debut
Roger Federer and Tommy Haas suffered defeat in their doubles team debut, losing 7-6(3) 6-4 to two-time grand slam champions Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner in the first round at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle.
Veteran Haas recorded an upset over Federer in last year's final on the German grass and the pair, who remain good friends off the court, decided to team up for this year's double competition.
However, it did not go according to plan as the pair surrendered the first set on a tie-break. Despite an entertaining performance from the debutant team, the experience of Melzer and Petzschner proved the difference.
There was a blatant sign of partnership rustiness when both Federer and Haas went for the same return, before a rare sighting of the 17-time grand slam singles champion offering a smile after dropping a set.
Melzer and Petzschner finished off in style, leaving their opponents to concentrate on their singles campaign.
Federer is the first seed in the singles draw, receiving a bye into the second round where the Swiss will face either Cedrik-Marcel Stebe or Jimmy Wang.
Partner Haas remains third seed, also getting a bye into round two where he will play the winner of Marcos Baghdatis or Ernests Gulbis.
However, Haas and Federer could meet at the semi-final stage as both are in the same side of the draw.