Australia's two-time US Open champion Patrick Rafter suffered another disappointment in his attempt to recover from a career-threatening shoulder injury when he came within three points of success only to fall in the second round of the Halle Open.
The 27-year-old, who won the US Open in 1997 and 1998, was beaten by the former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.
The eighth-seeded Krajicek was pleased with his performance and reckoned he was improving quickly enough to have a chance of again challenging for the Wimbledon title in a couple of weeks time.
But he hinted that his playing days might soon come to an end.
"It's not nice when my daughter is crying and begs me not to go away," he admitted.
"At the moment I can still handle it, but sometimes it becomes a bit heartbreaking."
Krajicek plays again in the quarterfinals on Friday against the titleholder Nicolas Kiefer.
The German came through in three sets against the Spaniard Albert Portas, despite needing something from the trainer to settle his stomach after lunching on "a bad piece of steak".
The day's other winners were Roger Federer, the rising 18-year-old Swiss player, and one of the tour's longest lasting players, Michael Chang.
The 28-year-old American, who won his only Grand Slam the French Open back in 1989, signalled that he still believes he can get back to what he was, winning a long drawn out three-setter against the fifth seeded 1999 French Open finalist Andrei Medvedev - (AFP)
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