Brisbane: Former world number three David Ferrer dashed local hopes when he downed Australia's Bernard Tomic in straight sets in the first round of the Brisbane International on Monday.
The eighth seeded Spaniard was the model of consistency as he saw off Tomic 6-3, 7-5 on Pat Rafter Arena.
Ferrer, now the world number 21, is ranked just five places above Tomic and had lost to the Australian on their previous two encounters.
But he proved too strong in the sweltering conditions in Brisbane, winning in 83 minutes.
The 34-year-old Ferrer concedes that his days as a top 10 player are gone, but says he now just wants to enjoy himself on tour.
"The last five or six years I was top 10, but, you know, there are younger players -- it's normal, no?," he said.
"I am still enjoying the tennis, and I hope to improve this year, but I am happy with myself and my career.
"My goal this year is to be happy with myself and to focus on every tournament that I play, without pressure of course."
Tomic said it was unlucky to come up against someone like Ferrer in the first round, but offered no excuses.
"I feel on a given day, whoever plays better is going to win between us, but unfortunately today he was too good for me."
Earlier, Frenchman Nicolas Mahut came from 1-4 down in the third set to outlast fellow countryman Stephane Robert 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a two-hour marathon.
Britain's Kyle Edmund saw off American qualifier Ernesto Escobedo in two tiebreak sets 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (8/6), while seventh seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov cruised past US player Steve Johnson 6-2, 6-3.
In the women's draw, reigning French Open champion Garbine Muguruza also disappointed the Queensland fans when she saw off hometown hero Samantha Stosur in a two-hour 45 minute epic.
The fourth seeded Muguruza came back from a break down in the third set to outlast Stosur 7-5, 6-7 (2/7), 7-5.
Earlier, two time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova celebrated her 600th win on the WTA Tour when she downed American Louisa Chirico 6-2, 6-4 and will now play either US qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands or young Australian Destanee Aiava.
Sixth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine was an impressive 6-3, 6-3 winner over Puerto Rica's Rio Olympic gold medallist Monica Puig, while China's Zhang Shuai downed German Laura Siegemund 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3.
Eighth seeded Italian Roberta Vinci came back from 2-5 down in the third set to beat Ukraine's Kateryna Bondarenko 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/5), and US qualifier Asia Muhammad defeated Croatian Donna Vekic 7-6 (7/5), 6-1.
Updated Date: Jan 02, 2017 18:41 PM