ibnlive » Tennis

Jan 04, 2011 at 02:52pm IST

Verdasco upset in first round at Brisbane

Sydney: Third seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain crashed out of the first round of the Brisbane International on Tuesday, suffering an upset 6-1 6-7 6-3 loss to Germany's Benjamin Becker.

Verdasco, a semi-finalist at the Australian Open in 2009, recovered from a listless start to grind out the second set but had few answers in the third as Becker played a faultless service game to seal the match in just over two hours.

"I had a good game plan and it worked well today," 53rd-ranked Becker said after setting up a second round match with Colombia's Santiago Giraldo.

Verdasco upset in first round at Brisbane

Fernando Verdasco lost to Benjamin Becker in the Brisbane International tournament.

"It is always good to get a win under your belt... and it's not every day you beat a top 10 player." The 27-year-old Verdasco will have one more competitive warm-up before the Jan 17-30 Australian Open - at the invitational Kooyong Classic in Melbourne next week, where he will defend his title.

After beating Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final at Kooyong last year, the feisty Spaniard advanced to the fourth round at Melbourne Park but was edged in a five-set thriller by Russia's Nikolay Davydenko.

In the women's draw, Italy's Flavia Pennetta was forced to withdraw due to a gastrointestinal illness, organisers said. She was scheduled to play compatriot Roberta Vinci but would be replaced by American lucky loser Christina McHale.