Spaniard Carlos Moya dived from the joy of winning a tournament to first-round oblivion as his Austra-lian Open buildup hit a speed-hump at the Sydney International yesterday.
The tournament second-seed crashed to a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 loss to Czech Radek Stepanek, coming just two days after he retained the ATP Chennai Open in India with a three-hour win over Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand for his 18th career title.
Moya, the 1997 runner-up to Pete Sampras, will now have to make do with practising ahead of Monday's Australian Open in Melbourne after missing out on more conditioning matches in Sydney.
Moya only arrived late on Monday from India and ran out of juice in the second set after skipping away with the opening set against the 34th-ranked Stepanek.
"Since I played the final in India two days ago and I didn't have much time to recover," the world No. 5 said.
"But in the first set I felt pretty well on the court and then I had chances in the second but he won that set and in the third I felt my legs were heavy, but I kept fighting.
"It's a new tournament, different conditions and it's not easy to adapt. I just got here last night after a long trip and it is not easy, but I still tried my best," he said.
Moya, who possesses one of the biggest forehands in men's tennis, said while he was disappointed to lose he could now rest and recover ahead of the Australian Open.
"The Melbourne tournament is one that I have great memories of and I would like to do well there and I just want to get ready for that," he said.
Stepanek will next play Russian Igor Andreev, who knocked out another Spaniard Albert Costa 6-1, 6-4.
Top seed Lleyton Hewitt cantered past Slovakia's Karol Beck in straight sets to set up a second-round meeting with French qualifier Arnaud Clement.
The three-times and defending Sydney champion made light work of his opening match clocking just over an hour to win, 6-1, 6-2.
"Karol's strengths are his counter-punching, trying to make a lot of ball and trying to sneak into the net now and then," Hewitt said.
Hewitt, who is yet to get past the fourth round in eight attempts at his home grand slam, said the hard work had all been done for the Australian Open, now it was just a matter of maintaining confidence and playing rhythm.
Hewitt is expecting a tougher assignment against the 106th-ranked Clement in his next match.
Third-seed Swede Joachim Johansson followed up his Adelaide victory over Dent with a comfortable first-round 6-4, 6-3 elimination of Britain's Greg Rusedski to set up a meeting with Max Mirnyi of Belarus.
Czech qualifier Ivo Minar knocked out sixth Russian seed Nikolay Davydenko 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.
Myskina knocked out
French Open champion Anastasia Myskina suffered a shock second-round defeat by little-known Chinese qualifier Shuai Peng at the Sydney International yesterday.
Shuai, ranked 80th in the world, raced to a 6-1 6-3 triumph as second-seed Myskina struggled to cope with the hot and windy conditions at the Olympic tennis center.
Russia's first female grand slam winner committed a whopping 46 unforced errors to leave her preparations for next week's Australian Open in tatters.
"The conditions were tough but that's no excuse," Myskina said.
"I'm not confident but I have to look forward to the Australian Open. It's one more week so I will have time for some practice," she said.