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Former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro fell at the first hurdle for the second week in a row on Monday after a straight-sets defeat to No. 6 seed Feliciano Lopez at the Japan Open.

Del Potro, who crashed out in the opening round of last week’s Thailand Open on his return from injury, looked sluggish in a match where his Spanish opponent was always in control, closing out a 6-3, 6-0 win in 1 hour, 21 minutes at Ariake Colosseum.

“It is difficult to come back and play against these players, especially Feliciano, on such a fast court,” admitted del Potro. “I need time, I need to work on a few things to get back to my best level. If I work in a good way I will be in good shape in a month or so.”

In other first-round matches, Daniel Gimeno-Traver beat Eduardo Schwank 6-4, 6-4, while No. 7 seed Ernests Gulbis was knocked out after a 6-3, 6-4 defeat to Dmitry Tursunov.

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