Third-seeded Andy Murray, playing in his first tournament since back surgery in late September, was upset by Florian Mayer of Germany 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 at the Qatar Open on Wednesday.
Murray was leading 6-3, 3-0 when the 40th-ranked Mayer started to play more aggressively, going for winners on nearly every shot. Murray's lead evaporated as he only won three of the last 15 games in the one hour, 51 minute match.
Murray hit 25 winners, but the reigning Wimbledon champion countered that with 37 unforced errors.
The last four times Murray played a tournament during the first week of the new season he captured the title: in 2008 and '09 at Doha, and 2012 and '13 at Brisbane.
Roger Federer showed shreds of Stefan Edberg's influence as he got his 2014 season underway, advancing to the Brisbane International quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Jarkko Nieminen on Wednesday.
Federer worked briefly with Edberg in the offseason and will again use the six-time major winner as a coach in Melbourne as he tries to end his Grand Slam drought at the Australian Open this month.
The 32-year-old Swiss star is not suddenly turning to a serve-volley mindset, but he did venture to the net with good effect in his second-round match against Nieminen as he honed certain parts of his game.
"I've been serving OK, my forehand is going well, my movement is OK, I'm seeing the ball OK," said Federer, who won the last of his 17 Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon in 2012. "I expect to play a bit better in the next match, even though today was already very good for a first match in so many weeks."
Federer, in the decisive game of the first set, rallied from 40-0 down and won the next five points to break for a 3-2 lead. He started with a pinpoint lob that caught the baseline and followed it up with a sharp, angled volley that turned the momentum.
He broke serve twice in the first three games of the second set and cruised to a comfortable win.
Awaiting top-seeded Federer in the quarterfinals is Australia's Marinko Matosevic, who beat American Sam Querrey 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-4. Second-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan had a 6-2, 6-2 win over Matthew Ebden to set up a quarterfinal against Marin Cilic of Croatia.