Vasek Pospisil cites mental fatigue for loss in Paris
Canadian falls to Andujar in 1st-round match
Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil was ousted in the first round of the Paris Masters on Tuesday, saying he was "mentally injured" in a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 loss to Spain's Pablo Andujar.
Ranked 32nd in the world, Pospisil was due to play Frenchman Gael Monfils, but he withdrew with a wrist injury. Pospisil had the momentum going into the match against No. 52 Andujar, who got into the draw as a lucky loser, after making the semifinals last weekend in Basel.
But he said his head wasn't in the game Tuesday.
"I had no physical issues," Pospisil said. "I was just burned out mentally. I was not ready to fight, I'm very disappointed right now. It's true I've had a great season but it's disappointing to lose like that."
Pospisil went down with 62 unforced errors, 38 off of his usually reliable forehand. His lack of fire was evident in the opening game when he dropped serve in the 37-minute first set, despite dominating Andujar with 12 winners.
Pospisil rallied in the second set to take it with a pair of breaks but failed to keep up his intensity in the third set as the rigours of the demanding season began to take a toll.
Andujar earned a 4-2 lead on a break but was then unable to easily serve out the win. Instead, the Spaniard lost serve leading 5-2 and missed a match point chance a game later as Pospisil hammered over an ace.
I've been on the road for eight or nine weeks, and I've been struggling the last few weeks. ... It was definitely tough to play today.- Canadian tennis star Vasek Pospisil
Pospisil saved three more match points a game later before Andujar managed a passing winner to end the struggle.
The 23-year-old Pospisil said that several months of travelling in Asia and Europe since the U.S. Open finally hit him.
"I've been on the road for eight or nine weeks, and I've been struggling the last few weeks, even if I did well last week," he said. "It was definitely tough to play today. I didn't play well at all, credit to him, he played solid, but I'm not happy with my game."
Pospisil said he's anxious to move on.
"I'm bitter now, but I've had a great year for sure," he said. "I'll try to forget this match as quickly as possible and look back on a positive year."
His 32nd ranking is a career high for Pospisil, who now has a chance to be seeded at the Australian Open in January. He started 2013 ranked 128th.
Pospisil said he will take a few weeks off before beginning his pre-season training in Florida.
Tenth-seeded Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., opens play Wednesday against Robin Haase of the Netherlands. The Canadian star is vying for spot in the World Tour Finals in London next week.
In other first-round play Tuesday, Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria rallied past two-time semifinalist Michael Llodra of France 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-3.
Dimitrov broke for 4-2 in the final set and hit a forehand volley winner on match point. He became the first Bulgarian to win a title on the ATP Tour at the Stockholm Open this month.
French wild card Nicolas Mahut and Polish qualifier Michal Przysiezny also won their first-round matches.