Top seed Soderling out in Chennai first round

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By Sanjay Rajan

CHENNAI, India (Reuters) - Swede Robin Soderling's preparations for this month's Australian Open suffered a setback on Tuesday when he lost 6-4 7-5 to American Robby Ginepri in the first round of the Chennai Open where he was the top seed.

"Everything went wrong. I tried my best but nothing went my way. I haven't felt like that in a very long time," world number eight Soderling told reporters after his error-strewn display against the world number 100.

"It's not the ideal preparation for Australian Open. But hopefully I will feel better as I play more matches. I am next playing Kooyong exhibition tournament in Melbourne."

Soderling, who began the new year by beating top-ranked Roger Federer in an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi, lost the opening set after he was broken in the seventh game following a spate of unforced errors.

The Swede, who last year reached the French Open final and the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open, had beaten the American in their only previous meeting at the 2007 Hamburg Masters.

The 25-year-old Swede blew a 4-1 lead in the second set after he allowed the American to save three break points and claw his way back.

Ginepri said he was moving better and that had helped.

"I felt good today, I moved well. It's always tough to play well in your first match of the season," the American said.

"I have had more time to prepare. I was here on Thursday so had better understanding of the conditions. He (Soderling) came only two days back, so probably didn't have enough time."

(Editing by Sonia Oxley)