Controversial Australian player Bernard Tomic insisted his sluggish movement was from being "flat" from his pre-season training, rather than from being sick or carrying an injury, following his early exit from the Brisbane International.

Tomic had his Australian Open plans up-ended by a first-round Brisbane International loss yesterday.

The lanky Tomic's movement was all at sea in his first match of the year as he took a 6-3, 7-5 loss to Spain's former world No3 David Ferrer.

Tomic, a Brisbane semi-finalist in 2012 and 2016, made 24 unforced errors in the first set compared to only six by a baseliner who has amassed $US29 million in prizemoney mostly by minimising his errors and making his opponent hit one more ball.


Ferrer asked Tomic if he was ill when they came to the net at the end of the match and was told he was not.

"I was fairly flat. I practised a lot," Tomic said.

"I'm never going to be the fittest player on the tour.

"I'm [196cm] and I have to rely on different things like my serve and today I served terrible.

"But I lost to a top player, one of the best of the last six or seven years," said Tomic.

Meanwhile, another controversial Australian, Nick Kyrgios, overcame a minor basketball injury to open his year with a crushing 6-3 6-4 win over Spain's Feliciano Lopez at the Hopman Cup in Perth.

Kyrgios entered the match with strapping just below his left knee after taking a tumble while playing basketball a few days earlier.

The world No13 brushed off the discomfort to put Lopez to the sword in a match that lasted 65 minutes.

Kyrgios powered down 14 aces for the match, and raced through the first set in just 23 minutes.

The 21-year-old was surprised at how well he'd played given he had reduced his on-court practice time during the off-season, and instead focused on boosting his fitness.

"I felt like I was going to be a bit rusty at times.

"But I played really well today," Kyrgios said.

"It's surprising because I haven't been doing much on the court.

"I've just been trying to get into a good head space and be ready.

"I was really happy with the level today."