Linz, Austria: Seventh-ranked Lucie Safarova of Czech Republic crashed out of the Generali Ladies in straight sets on Tuesday, losing her first match back on tour after a bacterial infection had kept her sidelined since the U.S. Open.
The French Open finalist, who was the top-seeded player at the Austrian indoor event, lost to the 95th-ranked Andreea Mitu of Romania 6-3, 6-4.
Safarova went 3-0 down in the opening set after winning just four of the first 16 points. She reduced her deficit to 3-2 but was broken again the next game.
Safarova dropped serve for a third time at 3-3 in the second set in which Mitu didn't allow her any break points.
"I didn't expect it, but I believed I could make a good match," said Mitu, who will next play Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany. "It's good to have such a tough match, as it makes you stronger for the rest of the tournament."
Johanna Larsson of Sweden rallied to beat No. 4 Andrea Petkovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The 20th-ranked German led 4-2 in the final set but managed just two more points as Larsson took four games in a row to close out the win.
Last year's runner-up Camila Giorgi defeated Julia Goerges of Germany 6-3, 6-4 in a match between two former finalists. The sixth-seeded Italian, who also beat Goerges here in straight sets two years ago, saved all six break points against her serve.
Also, No. 7 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia beat Katerina Siniakova of Czech Republic and No. 8 Barbora Strycova of Czech Republic defeated Barbara Haas of Austria 6-0, 6-7 (5), 6-4.
No. 5 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia pulled out because of a viral illness and was replaced by Johanna Konta of Britain, who defeated Anna Beck of Germany 6-1, 6-3.
In other first-round play, Madison Brengle of the United States beat Misaki Doi of Japan 6-0, 6-3 and joined Alison van Uytvanck of Belgium, Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland, Mona Barthel of Germany and Denisa Allertova of Czech Republic in the next round.