India’s Sumit Nagal began his 2021 season with an opening round defeat at the Murray River Open, losing in straight sets to Ricardas Berankis in the run up to the Australian Open.

Nagal suffered a crushing 2-6, 2-6 defeat in the $3,20,775 ATP 250 event in Melbourne on Monday.

The Indian, ranked 139 in the ATP singles chart, couldn’t convert any of the two break chances he earned while dropping his serve four times in the match against the world No 72 from Lithuania.

It is the first competitive event for all the players who have assembled in Melbourne for the season’s first Grand Slam.

Rohan Bopanna, who served a hard quarantine, has been paired with Denmark’s Frederik Nielsen for the Murray River Open and they will open their men’s doubles campaign against the Australian wild card pair of James Duckworth and Marc Polmans on Tuesday.

Bopanna is going into the event without much practice as protocols required him to stay inside his room for 14 straight days. He stepped out only on January 30.

Divij Sharan and Igor Zelenay will clash with Guillermo Duran and Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the opening round on Tuesday.