Chennai - Qualifier Yuichi Sugita of Japan ousted eighth-seeded Belgian Olivier Rochus 6-3, 6-4 in the first round of the Chennai Open on Tuesday.
"It was one of the best matches I've played," 235th-ranked Sugita said. "This is one of the highest-ranked players I've beaten."
Predominantly a baseline player, the 23-year-old Sugita counterpunched hard and strong to keep No 67 Rochus at bay.
Sugita said coming through the qualifiers helped him adapt to the conditions better, while Rochus was playing his first match of the new season.
"It was good for me," he said. "I hope to play this well in the coming rounds, and be prepared for the Australian Open qualifiers."
In another match, lucky loser Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France brushed aside compatriot Eric Prodon 6-4, 6-3 and will meet 17th-ranked defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in the second round.
Elsewhere, Victor Hanescu of Romania shut out Sam Querrey of the United States 6-3, 6-4 and will play Canadian fourth seed and world No 31 Milos Raonic next.
Collated results from the $450 000 ATP Chennai Open at the Nungambakkam tennis stadium on Tuesday (x denotes seeding):
Yuichi Sugita (JPN) bt Olivier Rochus (BEL x8) 6-3, 6-4
Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) bt Eric Prodon (FRA) 6-4, 6-3
Victor Hanescu (ROM) bt Sam Querrey (USA) 6-3, 6-4
Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE) bt Thiemo de Bakker (NED) 6-3, 6-3
Andreas Beck (GER) bt Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 6-3, 7-6 (10/8)
David Goffin (BEL) bt Xavier Malisse (BEL x7) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
Go Soeda (JPN) bt Frederico Gil (POR) 6-2, 6-7 (4/7), 7-5