LONDON (Reuters) - David Ferrer became the highest-ranked casualty so far in the Wimbledon men’s singles when French serve and volleyer Nicolas Mahut overpowered him 6-1 6-4 6-3 on Thursday.
The 13th-seeded Spaniard has suffered a drop in form this year, and never looked capable of turning things around against his fellow 34-year-old.
Mahut, whose career includes three grasscourt titles, had never beaten a Spaniard at a grand slam before meeting Ferrer, but quickly took charge, reeling off six straight games after Ferrer had struggled to hold his opening serve.
Ferrer, a quarter-finalist in 2012 and 2013, broke back after slipping behind in the second set but dropped serve at 4-4 allowing Mahut to hold serve for a two-set lead.
There was no way back after that for the former French Open finalist who dropped out of the world’s top 10 for the first time in nearly six years in May.
Mahut, part of Wimbledon folklore after losing to American John Isner in the longest match in tennis history in 2010 -- an 11 hour five minute epic -- will play fellow Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in round three.
Reporting by Martyn Herman