Australian wildcard entry Matthew Ebden has been knocked out in the first round of the Sydney International in a tough three-set loss to Spain's Marcel Granollers.
The 25-year-old Perth native started strongly and looked headed for victory before the world number 34 re-took the momentum and eventually the match 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 in 2 hours 21 minutes.
Ebden - ranked 105 in the world - was a set and a break up at 5-4 in the second set, but Granollers summoned a big effort to take the next three games and level the match.
Granollers then broke Ebden's serve and held his own to go 3-1 up in the deciding set.
The crucial fifth game then went to five deuces as the Spanish player tried to strike again for a decisive double break.
Ebden saved a number of break points before finally losing the game to go 4-1 down.
Granollers held his serve again before breaking the Australian for the third time to take the set and the match.
Earlier, another Australian wildcard James Duckworth bowed out following a tight three-set struggle against Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin.
The 20-year-old Duckworth, ranked 209 in the world, won the first set before Istomin finally triumphed 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).
It was an encouraging showing from Duckworth against Istomin, who beat Lleyton Hewitt en route to making the quarter-finals of the Brisbane International last week.
Fifth seed Florian Mayer of Germany accounted for Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-1, 6-1.
In the women's draw, Serbia's former world number one Jelena Jankovic defeated Austria's Tamira Paszek 6-2, 7-6(7-5) and Italy's Roberta Vinci upset eighth-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova 7-5, 7-5.Tags: tennis, sport, sydney-2000 First posted January 07, 2013 13:52:01