SYDNEY, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Two-time defending champion James Blake was ousted in straight sets Monday in the first round of the Medibank International tennis tournament in Sydney.
Blake entered the hard-court tournament seeded third and with the 2006 and 2007 Medibank titles to his credit but Fabrice Santoro eliminated Blake 7-6 (7-4), 6-2.
Top-seeded Richard Gasquet got past Igor Andreev 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) and No. 4-seeded Tomas Berdych swept by Filippo Volandri 6-1, 6-3 in first-round play. Eight-seeded Fernando Verdasco had a tougher time by made it to the second round with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win over Feliciano Lopez.