Halle, Germany (SportsNetwork.com) - French Open king Rafael Nadal was a stunning second-round loser, while six-time Halle champion Roger Federer was a hard-fought winner Thursday at the grass-court Gerry Weber Open, a Wimbledon tune-up.
Just four days removed from securing a record fifth straight and ninth overall French Open title, a weary world No. 1 Nadal was flat in falling to German wild card Dustin Brown in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1, in just under an hour.
This served as Nadal's lone grass-court preparation event for Wimbledon, where he was a shocking first-round loser a year ago.
Meanwhile, the second-seeded former world No. 1 great Federer had to come from behind to beat game 47th-ranked Portuguese Joao Sousa, 6-7 (8-10), 6-4, 6-2, at Gerry Weber Stadium.
The seven-time Wimbledon champion Federer beat Russian Mikhail Youzhny in last year's Gerry Weber finale.
The 32-year-old Federer owns more grass-court titles (13) than any other player since the Open Era began in 1968.
He will face Taiwan's Yen-Hsun Lu for a place in the semifinals after Lu edged out towering Croat Ivo Karlovic, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-3).
American Steve Johnson reached the quarterfinals in Halle via walkover when Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili pulled out of the draw. The 24-year-old Johnson was a two-time NCAA singles champion at the University of Southern California.
Friday's other quarterfinals will pit fourth-seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori against Johnson, Brown versus fellow German Philipp Kohlschreiber and German wild card Peter Gojowczyk against Colombian Alejandro Falla. Kohlschreiber titled here in 2011 and was the Halle runner-up in 2008.