Sania Mirza's singles return got off to the worst possible start as she crashed out of the Morocco Open with a shocking first round loss to Argentine qualifier Maria Emilia Salerni at Fes.
The top seed, who was playing her first singles match after a two-month-long injury layoff, lost 2-6, 5-7 to make a humiliating premature exit from the $145,000, Tier IV event.
"Of course it is disappointing; it was frustrating to be there knowing what I wanted to do, but not being able to execute like before the injury. But that's what lack of match play will do. I knew I'd be quite rusty and wouldn't be anywhere close to what I wanted," Sania said after the match.
The Indian ace was let down by her serve and was broken early on as she dropped the opening set in under half an hour.
The 20-year-old showed some resilience in the second set and trailing 1-5, she staged a mini-comeback to level the scores 5-5.
However, the effort proved too little and too late as Salerni broke the Indian yet again to seal the issue in her favour.
"There's a world of difference between your practice sessions and matches. But I was definitely getting into the match in the second set more," Sania said.