Blake Mott is a first-round casualty at the men's Australian Open qualifying tournament being played offshore in Doha for the first time.
Mott was the first of an 11-strong Australian men's contingent, including Bernard Tomic, looking to earn a place in the main draw which gets underway at Melbourne Park on February 8.
Melbourne-based Mott, 24, was outplayed by Sweden's Elias Ymer 6-4 6-3.
Tomic faces a taxing qualifying path towards making another appearance in the Australian Open with 16 places up for grabs from the 128-strong field in the middle east.
The mercurial 28-year-old Tomic, who's dropped to 228 in the world after only playing nine matches on the ATP Tour last year, has his work cut out after being drawn in his opening round tie against Slovakia's Jozef Kovalik, the 14th qualifying seed.
Kovalik, who got into the main draw in Melbourne last year as a lucky loser and engaged Pablo Carreno Busta in a tough four setter before getting beaten in the first round, is currently ranked 131 on the ATP computer, 97 places higher than Tomic.
Yet the Gold Coast-based Tomic, who was forced out of Brisbane's UTR Pro Tennis Series with a back injury last month, will be warmed by the memory of their only previous encounter at the Davis Cup in 2016 when he ran out a winner in straight sets on the grass in Sydney.
Former Wimbledon quarter-finalist Tomic, who like all the qualifiers will have to win three sudden-death matches to make it into the main draw, will face other obstacles should he beat Kovalik.
There'll be an Australian guaranteed to make it into the second round of qualifying as 33-year-old Matt Ebden, a former mixed doubles winner in Melbourne, tries to get past Brisbane's Jason Kubler, who won their only previous meeting.
In the women's draw Sydney's Abbie Myers can savour a high-profile tie with former Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard in the women's qualifying tournament in Duabi.
Myers, a 26-year-old wild card from Sydney who's ranked 322 in the world, has never got past the first round of qualifying on three previous occasions.
Bouchard, Canada's former top-five star, is trying to revive her career down at No.141 on the WTA circuit.
Ellen Perez, the world No.235 from Shellharbour, NSW, is seeking to earn her second main draw appearance in Melbourne and will be the first Australian woman in action when she takes on American Caroline Dolehide.