Defending champion Rafael Nadal was ushered to the exit, while top-seeded Novak Djokovic cruised through his first match of the season at the Qatar Open on Tuesday.

The second-seeded Nadal, showing desire but displaying a rusty game, was upset by German qualifier Michael Berrer 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the first round.

This was Nadal's first match since losing in the Basel quarterfinals to 17-year-old Borna Coric of Croatia in October. The Spaniard spent much of the autumn suffering from appendicitis and underwent an appendectomy on Nov. 3.

"These things happen after long time without being on the road, being on rhthym, being in competition," Nadal said. "I was playing with more nerves because after long time away. I wanted to win.

"When you are back from an injury, that takes time."

Nadal was also sidelined for three months because of a right wrist injury after Wimbledon. He briefly returned to the game at Beijing in late September where he reached the quarterfinals.

The following week in Shanghai he lost in the opening round to compatriot Feliciano Lopez.


Cities make their pitch

The Kazakh city of Almaty came out battling in its contest with rival favorite Beijing in the bidding for the 2022 Winter Games, portraying itself as the compact, affordable choice with "real winter weather" and "lots of natural snow."

Delegations from Almaty and Beijing submitted their bid documents to the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland, a day before the deadline.

The bid books include details of each city's plans for the games, including venues, accommodation, financing, transportation and security.

The race began with six candidates but was reduced to just two following the withdrawals of Stockholm; Krakow, Poland; Lviv, Ukraine; and Oslo.

An IOC evaluation commission will visit the two finalists in February and March. The host city will be selected by the full IOC on July 31 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Baseball: Giants righthander Tim Hudson underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his right ankle, the same one he injured during the 2013 season with Atlanta that sidelined him for the final two months. ... The Tigers agreed to terms with lefthanded reliever Tom Gorzelanny on a $1 million, one-year contract. The 32-year-old Gorzelanny had a 0.86 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 23 appearances for Milwaukee last year. ... Infielder Stephen Drew and the Yankees reportedly are working to finalize a $5 million, one-year contract.

Skiing: Marcel Hirscher held on to his commanding first-run lead to win a men's World Cup night slalom in Zagreb, Croatia. Hirscher finished in a combined time of 1 minute, 55.96 seconds to beat Felix Neureuther by 0.81.

Ski jumping: Stefan Kraft became the seventh consecutive Austrian winner of the prestigious Four Hills Tour in Bischofshofen,Austria. Kraft finished the final event in third position to hold on to his lead after the first three stops. Fellow Austrian Michael Hayboeck won the final event with jumps of 137.5 and 136.5 meter for a total of 288.4 points.

Auto racing: Formula One drivers will have to be at least 18 years old from 2016. The announcement of new rules by motor sport governing body FIA came following the Toro Rosso team's decision to hire 17-year-old Max Verstappen for this year's championship.

... Roush Fenway Racing brought back Bob Osborne as crew chief for former Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne in the No. 6 Ford. Osborne was a crew chief for Roush Fenway from 2004 until 2012 before moving over to assist with the team's engineering efforts. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will have a new crew chief for the second consecutive season. Nick Sandler will call the shots next year.