Andy Murray made an unhappy start to 2023 with a straight-sets defeat to Sebastian Korda at the Adelaide International.
Korda, who at 22 is 13 years Murray’s junior, had won their only previous meeting at the 2022 Gijon Open.
The 6ft 5in American, ranked 33 in the world and 16 places higher than the British number four, repeated that victory with a 7-6 (3) 6-3 success in one hour and 56 minutes.
The first set went with serve until Korda broke in the seventh game to lead 4-3.
Three-time grand slam champion Murray broke back instantly to set up a tie-break that Korda dominated.
Korda’s double break gave him a 4-1 lead and, although Murray saved one set point, the American closed out the first set in one hour and 16 minutes.
The second set followed a similar pattern with serve held until Korda took a 4-2 lead.
Murray had a break point in the next game, but he was unable to capitalise and Korda served out to secured a second-round date with Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut.
Earlier on in the day, Novak Djokovic started his 2023 singles season with a straight sets win over Constant Lestienne.
Djokovic began his build-up for this month’s Australian Open, where he will be chasing a record 10th men’s singles title, with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Frenchman Lestienne.
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“For the first match I can’t complain,” Djokovic said after beating the world number 65.
“I played very well. I thought the first six games were very competitive and I have never faced him before.
“He is a counter-puncher, he doesn’t make too many mistakes. He has a tricky serve, hits his spots.
“But once I made that break at 3-2 in the first set I thought I stepped it up and played really good tennis for the rest of the match.”
The 35-year-old Serb, who is making his first tour-level appearance in Adelaide since 2007, plays France’s Quentin Halys next.
The other seeded player in Djokovic’s quarter of the draw is Denis Shapovalov.
Seventh seed Shapovalov recovered to beat Australian qualifier Rinky Hijikata 2-6 6-4 6-3.
Jannik Sinner began his season with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Britain’s Kyle Edmund, while Karen Khachanov advanced by beating Pedro Cachin 6-2 6-4.
Daniil Medvedev moved into the last 16 with a 7-6 (6) 2-1 win over Lorenzo Sonego, the Italian having to withdraw through injury in the second set.
Meanwhile Emma Raducanu won her first match of 2023 on the WTA Tour with a victory over Linda Fruhvirtova in the first round of the ASB Classic in Auckland.
Raducanu dropped her first set to the 17-year-old from the Czech Republic, but bounced back to win the second and third despite a lengthy suspension due to rain.
The 78th ranked Brit finished on top 4-6 6-4 6-2 against the relatively evenly matched Fruhvirtova, who is only one rank behind.
Raducanu will face 24-year-old Viktoria Kuzmova from the Slovak Republic in the round of 16.
The British number one is hoping for an injury-free year having struggled for form and fitness on the WTA tour since becoming the first qualifier to win a grand slam title when winning the US Open in 2021.
Raducanu, who was made an MBE last month, has two other targets for 2023, telling wtatennis.com: “For a results goal I’d say it’s to win a title, and three I’d say is to be playing fearless tennis.
“Just not thinking about consequences. Just going for it. That’s my goal for this year.”
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Raducanu’s season was cut short in October due to a wrist injury, but she embarked on an intense two-month fitness regime without touching a tennis racket soon after.
She has been working with Andy Murray’s former conditioning coach Jez Green and hopes she will be better equipped all-round to deal with the rigours of the senior tour.
She said: “I think right now because I’m still trying to find my timing and groove and my tennis, it’s a bit early to tell.
“But once I settle into that I think the physical side will definitely have made a difference because there’s no way it can’t have.
“But I’m also not ignorant in thinking two months is going to solve my entire physical condition, it’s going to take more time, over a year or two to redevelop.”