No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal and No. 4 seed David Ferrer both opened their 2016 seasons with grueling three-set matches at the Qatar Open on Tuesday, with the Spaniards coming out on opposite ends of their results.
While Nadal was able to rally past countryman Pablo Carreno Busta, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-1, Ferrer was upended by Illya Marchenko, 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-2.
"He was better than me all the match," Ferrer said of Marchenko. "From the first set, he deserved win the match. I didn't obviously play my game. I didn't serve well. (In the) second and third set, he was more aggressive than me."
No. 6 seed Andreas Seppi was also upset, falling 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 to Ricardas Berankis, while No. 8 seed Leonardo Mayer breezed by German qualifier Benjamin Becker, 6-1, 6-2, and No. 3 seed Tomas Berdych handled Sergiy Stakhovsky, 7-5, 6-4.
"It's always tricky to play him," Berdych said. "He's one of the few that likes to come to the net a lot, playing a lot of slice and a lot of variation in the game. I just took my chances in the first set and... in the second. It was quite solid game today... It would be great to leave with the trophy in the end."
In other first-round action, Pablo Andujar beat Paolo Lorenzi 6-4, 6-0, 6-4; Teymuraz Gabashvili rallied past Simone Bolelli 4-6, 6-4, 6-1; and Paul-Henri Mathieu survived Albert Ramos-Vinolas after a grueling third-set tiebreaker, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(7).
All three seeded players advanced in the second day of first round action at the Brisbane International, with No. 6 David Goffin and No. 7 Bernard Tomic moving on in straight sets, while No. 8 seed Dominic Thiem needs three sets to dispatch of James Duckworth.
Others advancing to the second round in straights sets were qualifier Ivan Dodig, Radek Stepanek, Mikhail Kukushkin and Victor Troicki, who took out American Steve Johnson, 7-6(3), 6-1. Lucas Pouille needed three sets to get past Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka, 4-7, 6-3, 7-5.