Daniela Hantuchova’s grass court season got off to a torrid start as she stalled at Birmingham’s AEGON Classic ahead of Eastbourne.
The Slovak star fell in straight sets to world no102 Melinda Czink, bowing out in a tense tight contest.
Hantuchova, who finished runner-up at last year’s AEGON Classic stuttered to a 7-5 7-6 defeat in the final Centre Court match on Wednesday.
Yet Hantuchova, who officially opened the new Indoor Tennis Centre at the Edgbaston Priory Club before the tournament, seemed in charge but slipped up when it mattered to concede the opening set.
Hungarian Czink rallied point for point throughout the second set with a resilient display. But 29-year-old Hantuchova bounced back to give herself a chance for forcing a third set, only to fall victim in a nail-biting tiebreaker – and have no answer for Czink’s 10 aces throughout the contest.
However, having withdrawn from the 2012 French Open for ‘personal reasons’, Hantuchova didn’t seem to have her heart in the clash overall and will arrive at Devonshire Park aiming to practice before the 2012 AEGON International gets underway a week before Wimbledon.