Emma Raducanu lost to the fifth seed Daria Kasatkina in her opening match at the Ostrava Open in the Czech Republic.
There was no sign of any strapping after Raducanu withdrew during her semi-final against Jelena Ostapenko in Korea a week and a half ago with another muscle injury.
And the British No 1 produced some good moments against her Russian opponent, ranked 11th in the world and one of the game’s best defenders, but she paid for too many errors in a 7-5 6-4 defeat.
Raducanu, 20 next month, recovered from a loose start to lead 3-2 in the first set, and looked to be the one applying more pressure until Kasatkina broke through to lead 5-4. Raducanu responded well with a break of her own only to drop serve again, and this time Kasatkina – who has been the most outspoken Russian player against the invasion of Ukraine – clinched the set.
The second set was again tight but Raducanu, now the world No 67, snatched at several shots in a poor service game to drop serve at 2-2, and was unable to get back on level terms. There was better news for British No 2 Harriet Dart, who was a 6-2 6-4 winner against Spain’s Nuria Parrizas-Diaz at the Jasmin Open in Monastir, Tunisia.