Number three seed Alexander Zverev said he “played terribly” after crashing out in the first round of the Japan Open on Monday, losing to world number 60 Jordan Thompson.
Germany’s Zverev, ranked ninth in the world, lost 6-3, 6-4 in Tokyo, a week after falling at the first hurdle at the Shanghai Masters.
Zverev, who won the Chengdu Open in China last month, said there was “nothing I did right” after his serve was broken three times by Thompson.
“Today I played terribly,” Zverev said.
“He played pretty well and served pretty well, but it’s just a very, very bad match for me. I don’t know what to say.”
Zverev had said illness contributed to his loss to Roman Safiullin in Shanghai, but Thompson had ‘made things difficult’ for him.
The Australian lost to Novak Djokovic in straight sets at Wimbledon this year, but did not give up against Zverev.
“I haven’t done nearly as much as him, but when I’m on the field with these guys I have to believe I can beat them,” said the 29-year-old.
“If you don’t believe it, you might as well not be here, so I’m just really enjoying the challenge.”
Zverev returned to Japan for the first time since winning Olympic gold two years ago at the Tokyo Games, which were held behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He said it was “fun to play in front of spectators, but I only played one match”.
“I lost today, so the feeling overall isn’t that great right now,” he said.