Doha, Qatar (SportsNetwork.com) - 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 big-hitting 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, Pole Lukasz Kubot bested Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-4, 6-3, Romanian Victor Hanescu drubbed Portuguese Joao Sousa 6-3, 6-2, and German Tobias Kamke erased Tunisian wild card Malek Jaziri 6-3, 6-4 at this Australian Open tune- up.
This week's top seeds are world No. 1 superstar and 2010 Doha runner-up Rafael Nadal, French Open runner-up David Ferrer and Wimbledon champion and two-time Doha titlist Andy Murray. All three stars will take to the courts on Tuesday.
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.