India's Sania Mirza crashed out of the $220,000 Hobart International tennis with a 4-6, 6-2, 3-6 first round loss to Australian wild card Alicia Molik here on Monday.
The 28-year-old Molik, who is ranked 198, is returning to tennis this summer after retiring in 2007 due to persistent injury problems.
For the 57th-ranked Sania, it is her second straight early exit from a tournament this year. She lost to Italy's Flavia Pennetta in the second round at Auckland last week. The losses can dampen the 23-year-old Hyderabadi's preparation for the Australian Open which begins next week.
Australia’s Jelena Dokic beat British number one Elena Baltacha 6-4, 6-2.
Dokic, who made a fairytale run to the quarter-finals of last year's Australian Open, said her win over Baltacha had left her feeling confident of another strong showing at her home grand slam.
“I feel like I'm fitter this year and hitting the ball better,” she told reporters.
Somdev slips to 161 in ATP rankings
Following his second round loss in the just-concluded Chennai Open tournament, Davis Cup star Somdev Devvarman dropped 35 places to 161 in the latest Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings list released on Monday.
The 24-year-old US-based Somdev, who touched a career-best 116 in November, had ended 2009 at 126, but lost precious points at the Chennai Open where he was a finalist in 2009.
Fellow Davis Cupper Rohan Bopanna, who is in his 11th season on the pro tour, also slid 33 positions to 424, a far cry from his best of 213 in July 2007.
Meanwhile, 26-year old Prakash Amritraj, a first round loser at the Chennai Open after coming through the qualifying rounds, gained 12 ranking spots to move to 200, but he is still distant from his best ranking of 154 that he had attained in June 2009.
Also gaining position is the fast improving 17-year-old Yuki Bhambri who moved to 330, five places up from his ranking of 335 at the end of 2009, that he had begun at 1,156th place. Yuki lost in the final round of the qualifying tournament at the Chennai Open.
Wozniacki, Jankovic lose in first round
US Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki and former No. 1-ranked Jelena Jankovic lost in the first round of the Sydney International on Monday, opening an easier route to the final for top-ranked Serena Williams in a key Australian Open warmup event.
Wozniacki lost 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 to China's Li Na while Jankovic lost 5-7, 6-1, 7-5 to Hungarian qualifier Agnes Szavay.