Story highlights

Federer beaten in second round

Swiss had only lost once in 2017

The 35-year-old was returning from eight-week break

CNN  — 

It was not a happy return to tennis for Roger Federer in Germany.

In his first competitive match following an eight-week break, the 18-time grand slam champion was beaten by world No. 302 Tommy Haas at the Stuttgart Open.

Federer, who prior to this match had lost only once in 2017, squandered match point as he went on to lose 2-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-4 in the second round to the former world No.2.

It’s the first time the 35-year-old Federer has been defeated in his opening match at a grass-court tournament since Wimbledon 2002, when he lost to Mario Ancic.

READ: Federer to skip French Open

READ: How much will tennis miss Serena Williams?

‘Tough to put into words right now’

The 39-year-old Haas, playing in his final season, last beat the Swiss great in 2012, at the Halle final.

In an on-court interview, the German said he was “pretty speechless.”

“Playing Roger is always very special, especially on grass, especially here in Germany,” he said.

“It’s tough to put it in words right now.”

The was the oldest singles tie to be played on the Tour since 1982, when 30-year-old Ricardo Cano beat Luis Ayala, 49, in the Vina del Mar.

Federer focusing on grass-court season

Federer had not played since April 2, when he beat reigning French Open champion Rafael Nadal to win the Miami Open.

That was his third major title in a stunning start to the season, having also won the Australian Open in January and in Indian Wells.

READ: Ostapenko becomes ‘symbol of Latvia’

READ: Naday’s 10th French Open title ‘more special’

He missed the clay-court season to prepare for the grass-court campaign, specifically Wimbledon, which starts at the end of June, a tournament he has won on seven occasions.