lost to Italian wild card
, 6-2, 6-4, yesterday in the third round of the Rome Masters, extending his title drought to four straight tournaments and marking the worst stretch of his career since he rose to No. 1 in February 2004.
"I don't know what's wrong," he said. "I have to analyze it myself. It was over too soon for me today."
The top-ranked Swiss won in Dubai in March. He has since failed to win at Indian Wells, Calif.; Key Biscayne, Fla.; Monte Carlo, Monaco; and Rome.
Federer often missed routine baseline shots against Volandri, and his body language conveyed little will to compete. He hit only two winners with his forehand, normally his best shot, and made 44 unforced errors to Volandri's 23.
Third-ranked Andy Roddick also had a rough day, losing to Juan Ignacio Chela, 6-0, 6-4.
Two-time defending French Open champion Rafael Nadal extended his clay-court winning streak to 74 matches with a 6-2, 6-2 win over 15th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny.
In other tennis news:
* Fourth-seeded Martina Hingis couldn't overcome a hip injury and lost, 6-4, 6-0, to fellow Swiss Patty Schnyder in the third round of the German Open in Berlin.
* Temple coach Dawn Staley has been selected to lead Team USA's women's club at the upcoming Pan Am Games. Staley, a three-time Olympic gold medalist as a player, will be assisted by Holy Cross' Bill Gibbons and Harvard's Kathy Delaney-Smith. The Pan Am Games are July 20 to 24 in Rio de Janeiro.
* Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. was awarded $2.7 million in a lawsuit that claimed an ambulance company caused his career-ending injuries by failing to properly treat him after a 2003 accident. The 60-year-old jockey broke two bones in his neck after his horse, Trampus Too, clipped the heels of Rainman's Request during the fifth race on March 1, 2003, at the Santa Anita racetrack. Pincay was thrown, and his horse fell on him. The accident forced Pincay to retire after 9,530 victories - a record that held until 2006 - and more than $237 million in winnings.
* IBF junior welterweight champion Lovemore Ndou will face Paulie Malignaggi on June 16 in a title bout at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
* Gino Pariani, who played for the United States on the 1950 World Cup soccer team that stunned England, has died. He was 79.