Matthew Ebden's Australian Open preparation got off to a less than ideal start on Tuesday, when he suffered a 6-2, 6-7, 6-1 loss to Spain's Daniel Gimeno-Traver in the first round of the Canberra ATP Challenger.
This was Ebden's first tournament in 2016, which has started slowly after the death of his coach Darren Tandy. Aside from missing last week's Brisbane International to attend Tandy's funeral, Ebden said his Open preparation wouldn't change.
"Um, no, not really," he said. "Not other than I probably would have played that tournament last week. But you know, that's life.
"Plenty of guys played last week but not this week, so this way I still get some matches in before the Aussie [Open]."
Although Ebden said a few more matches in the Canberra Challenger would have been preferred, he said Gimeno-Traver had been too good on Tuesday.
"Daniel's a great player, he's been in the top 80, the top 90 most of his career."
Gimeno-Traver got off to a quick start against Ebden, racing to a 5-1 lead before eventually taking the first set 6-2. Ebden regrouped to take the second in a tie-break, but his poor serving and Gimeno-Traver's power and topspin quickly tipped the third set in the Spaniard's favour.
Ebden noted the conditions played a part in his poor form - the blustery wind affecting his serve and groundstrokes.
"Yeah it was really breezy, there was kind of a hot wind, then more wind, then no wind. It was a bit strange."
Gimeno-Traver will meet fifth seed Ivan Dodig in the second round, after the Croatian's 7-6, 6-4 victory over Australian Dayne Kelly. The winner of their meeting will likely take on second-seeded Colombian Santiago Giraldo in the third round, who triumphed over unseeded Dudi Sela.