Sydney, 11 January 2011 | AAP

Chris Guccione may have lost in the first round of Medibank International Sydney 2011, but on another rain-interrupted day at the event he is choosing to see the silver lining.

Having missed out on a wildcard into next week’s Australian Open he will now be able to make it in time to play the qualifiers starting on Wednesday.

The towering Victorian, who has slipped to No.376 in the world after returning from a long injury layoff last April, went down 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 to Spanish seventh seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez on Tuesday.

“If I won my match today I would have been pulled out of qualifying for the Australian Open because it starts tomorrow, so I had to be out by today,” he said.

“I wanted to win the match. Winning a tour event match here, I would have taken that over the qualifying.

“But it’s definitely a consolation prize.”

Guccione has had some impressive results at the Sydney International after bursting onto the scene at the 2004 tournament when he defeated then world No.3 Juan Carlos Ferrero.

He lacked that firepower in Tuesday’s tightly contested clash, however, and after being up 5-1 in the first-set tiebreak against Garcia-Lopez, he lost six straight points to the world No.33.

The second set was much of the same, with Guccione saving eight break points to level at 3-3.

But with Garcia-Lopez at 6-5 and holding two match points the Australian could only save one with the Spaniard clinching victory in straight sets.
“It was a tough match,” Guccione said.

“He’s a really good player, ranked 30-something in the world.

“It was a battle out there, I was always fighting to hold my serve and he made me play a lot of first volleys.

“He played a solid match. It could have gone either way.”