Memphis, TN – Defending champion Jurgen Melzer came up an opening-round loser Tuesday at the $1.212 million U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships.
The veteran Austrian left-hander succumbed to Dutchman Igor Sijsling 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) at The Racquet Club of Memphis. Sijsling is rewarded with a second-round match against top-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia.
Melzer beat Canadian slugger Milos Raonic in last year's finale here.
Wild card and veteran American crowd favorite James Blake landed in the win column by beating capable German Florian Mayer 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Blake was a Memphis runner-up 11 years ago.
Also on Tuesday, American journeyman and lucky loser Michael Russell topped Russian qualifier Alex Bogomolov Jr. 6-2, 6-4.
The 2013 Memphis champ will claim $291,800.