Berdych falls in Qatar

3:46 PM, Dec 30, 2013   |    comments
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Doha, Qatar ( - Tomas Berdych came up a season-opening loser Monday at the $1 million Qatar Open.

Towering Croat Ivo Karlovic outslugged the fourth-seeded former Wimbledon runner-up Berdych 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-4) on the hardcourts at Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex. The 6-foot-10 Karlovic fired 24 aces in the 1-hour, 47-minute affair.

Meanwhile, eighth-seeded Spanish left-hander Fernando Verdasco avoided an upset by whipping Italian Filippo Volandri 6-3, 6-3.

Also on Monday, oft-injured former top-10 Frenchman and two-time Doha runner- up Gael Monfils topped Colombian Santiago Giraldo 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 and Pole Lukasz Kubot bested Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-4, 6-3 at this Australian Open tune-up.

This week's top seeds are world No. 1 superstar Rafael Nadal, French Open runner-up David Ferrer and Wimbledon champion and two-time Doha titlist Andy Murray. Nadal was a Doha runner-up in 2010.

Richard Gasquet, seeded fifth this week, defeated 2010 champion Nikolay Davydenko in last year's Doha finale. Davydenko was also a runner-up here in 2011.

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