PAUL JUBB continued his disappointing start to 2023 with defeat to Dalibor Svrcina in the first round of ATP Australian Open qualifying in Melbourne.

The 23-year old, ranked 218 in the world, was beaten 3-6, 6-1, 4-6 by the Czech Republican starlet on Monday morning, in a tie that he had been much fancied to win.

However, theYork-born player was not the only British talent to crash out to lower-ranked opposition, with Heather Watson thrashed by Spain’s Aliona Bolsova, whom she had only beaten in straight sets three months prior.

Jubb made the worst possible start, conceding a break point in the first game.

With Svrcina leading 2-1 in the first set, Jubb then lost a second break point, before coming within an inch of taking the scores to 3-2 a game later.

He did break back in the penultimate game, but it was too late to prevent him from losing the opening set.

That served to only motivate Jubb however, as he broke serve immediately in the second set.

A further two break points followed as the Brit raced into a 0-5 lead, before Svrcina got a point on the board in the penultimate game.

With the wind firmly in his sails Jubb looked to be heading to his first victory of the new year going into the deciding set.

A break point and a hold of serve under pressure further swung momentum Jubb’s way, with the score poised at 4-2 in his favour.

However, the Brit failed to hold onto his position, Svrcina battling back to before taking advantage of two break points to level the set.

From thereon out there only looked to be one winner, Svrcina taking the next game with ease, before snatching victory from the jaws of defeat to close out the set 6-4.

The defeat is Jubb’s second of the calendar year, with the 23-year-old having lost to former Davis Cup winner Evgeny Donskoy at the Nonthaburi Challenger on January 3.