Britain’s Emma Raducanu lost her first match as a Grand Slam champion, beaten in straight sets by Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich at the Indian Wells.
World number 22 Raducanu was seeking an 11th successive victory, having won the US Open last month as a qualifier.
But Sasnovich ranked 100th in the world, beat the 18-year-old 6-2 6-4 in round two of the BNP Paribas Open.
Emma Raducanu Indian wells
Raducanu made an excellent start against Sasnovich – holding to love in the opening game in front of a supportive crowd of about 4,000 for the night session.
But a loose service game followed, and with her 27-year-old opponent playing some excellent defensive tennis, the US Open champion was forced into too many errors.
“We had some great memories together – at the US Open and also previous to that – but I’m looking forward to the next chapter and I think that what I am doing right now is definitely the best for me and my tennis.”
Raducanu, who received a first-round bye, is next scheduled to play at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow in 10 days’ time.
The Briton was competing without a permanent coach having ended her partnership with Andrew Richardson, whom she has known since the age of 10, after her US Open success.
Did the limelight & success of the US open distract Raducanu?
The Belarusian will play two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep in the third round on Sunday. As for Emma, she will go back to her training camp. Try to regain her focus following the success of the US Open win. And according to the tennis legend, it is important that she doesn’t let the distractions off the field distract her.
Raducanu said: “I think Aliaksandra played a great match. She was better than me today so she deserves to win.
“I’m kind of glad that what happened today happened so I can learn and take it as a lesson.
“There’s going to be a disappointment after any loss. I didn’t go in there putting any pressure on myself because in my mind I’m so inexperienced that I’m just taking it all in.”