Johannesburg - Top South African tennis player Kevin Anderson started the year on a jarring note, losing to the 177th-ranked Lukasz Kubot in the first round of the ATP's season-opening Brisbane International Open.
Anderson, who improved his world ranking in 2014 from 20th to a career-high 16th, went down 7-6 (3) 6-4 to the 32 year-old Polish player who now concentrates mainly on his doubles career.
Kubot demonstrated his attacking prowess in the battle of big serves by ousting the fifth seeded Anderson by seven points to three in the first-set tiebreaker and then breaking service in the second set to clinch the match.
Apart from damaging his ATP ranking, the early defeat in Brisbane is also a blow for Anderson's prospects in the forthcoming Australian Open in which the South African reached the fourth round last year.
Anderson's preparation for the Australian Open would now move to New Zealand for the Auckland Open before going onto Melbourne for the first grand slam event of the year.