Cincinnati - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has crashed back down to earth in his opening match at the Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday, losing 6-1, 6-4 to Russian Mikhail Youzhny.
The 12th seed found himself back on court 48 hours after beating Roger Federer to win the title in Toronto, the second at the Masters 1000 level of his career.
But the Frenchman came out flat in the Cincinnati first round, with court-wise veteran Youzhny taking full advantage of the fragile emotional and physical state of last week's champion.
The result leaves Tsonga with only one 2011 win in Cincinnati after three appearances at the last major tune-up prior to the US Open, which starts on August 25 this year.
Youzhny broke Tsonga four times in just over an hour of play as the French player committed 21 unforced errors, with his game clearly a notch below his best which was on display at the weekend in Canada.
"I tried to fight every point," said Youzhny, 32, who stands 11-11 at Cincinnati and has played quarter-finals at all four grand slams.
Croatian 14th seed Marin Cilic advanced into the second round over Toronto semi-finalist Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4 while British qualifier James Ward surprised Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.
Canadian Vasek Pospisil rallied to put out Czech Radek Stepanek 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) as wild card Robby Ginepri beat Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-3, 5-7, 7-5.
On the women's side, Czech 16th seed Lucie Safarova knocked off weekend Montreal finalist Venus Williams, 6-7 (2/7), 6-3, 6-4.
The 34-year-old Williams said that she faced a quick turnaround from Canada, where she lost the final to Agnieszka Radwanska and was not helped by an early match.
"Today I was even surprised at how much I was able to push myself, because I wasn't sure how well I was going to be.
"I wish I could have felt today like I did the day on the final, just to have a little bit more to make it more competitive."
Results on Tuesday, the third day of the Cincinnati ATP Masters and WTA hardcourt tennis tournament (x denotes seeded player):
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) bt Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x12) 6-1, 6-4
Robby Ginepri (USA) bt Dominic Thiem (AUT) 6-3, 5-7, 7-5
Marin Cilic (CRO x14) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-3, 6-4
James Ward (GBR) bt Guillermo Garca-Lopez (ESP) 6-2, 3-6, 6-1
Vasek Pospisil (CAN) bt Radek Stepanek (CZE) 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (7/4)
Sara Errani (ITA x14) bt Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (7/2)
Annika Beck (GER) bt Garbine Muguruza (ESP) 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) bt Mona Barthel (GER) 7-5, 6-0
Christina McHale (USA) bt Nicole Gibbs (USA) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP x15) bt Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 6-3, 1-6, 6-2
Kurumi Nara (JPN) bt Romina Oprandi (SUI) 6-0, 6-2
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) bt Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 6-2, 6-2
Lucie Safarova (CZE x16) bt Venus Williams (USA) 6-7 (2/7), 6-3, 6-4
Zarina Diyas (KAZ) bt Irina Begu (ROM) 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/5)