NOrth Carolina, 22 August 2011 | AFP

Australian Bernard Tomic endured another North American hardcourt defeat on Sunday, exiting the opening round of the ATP tournament in North Carolina to go into the US Open with plenty to prove.

The 61st-ranked player from Queensland notched his only ATP match win since Wimbledon in the first round at Montreal, where he beat Lu Yen-Hsun.

He then fell to France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and lost his opener in Cincinnati this week to France’s Julien Benneteau.

On Sunday it was Russian Igor Andreev who sent Tomic packing 6-7(5) 6-3 6-4 in little more than two hours in a contest peppered with 22 aces.

Andreev, known for for his clay success, played excellent defense as he saved all nine break points he faced while cracking Tomic’s serve twice.

The Russian avenged a five-set Wimbledon loss to the Aussie teenager, who reached the quarterfinals at the All England Club.

That Wimbledon success hasn’t been followed up, however, and the youngster heads to his first US Open main draw lacking match toughness.

“It’s a new tournament,” Tomic said of this event switched from New Haven to Carolina.

“I played well in the first set but he improved and did better than me overall.

“I need [to] be as physically fit as I can for next week, I need to build some strength before the Open.”

Tomic’s exit leaves two-time Grand Slam winner Lleyton Hewitt to fly the Aussie flag. However, the one-time No.1 now ranked 165 who has not played for nearly a month thanks to a nagging problem with his foot, will likely be tested in his opening match against Slovenian Blaz Kavcic.

In other opening-day matches American Ryan Sweeting defeated Belgium’s Olivier Rochus 6-3 7-5.

German Tobias Kamke hammered Alejandro Falla of Colombia 6-1 6-0.