Former world number one Martina Hingis has suffered a setback on her return to competitive women’s tennis.
The Swiss player lost in three sets to Germany’s Marlene Weingärtner in the opening round of a tournament in Pattaya, Thailand.
Hingis appeared to be on course for victory on Tuesday after taking the first set 6-1 in just 23 minutes against Weingärtner, ranked 73 in the world.
She was also 2-1 up in the second set and leading 40-0, but then her luck turned. Weingärtner won the set 6-2 and then clinched the deciding set by the same score.
It was Hingis’s first WTA match after spending more than two years out of the game because of an ankle injury.
The 24-year old Swiss ruled out more tournaments after her defeat against Weingärtner.
“I've never had plans further than this step. Maybe I'll play some exhibitions. That's my plan at the moment. At this point I have no plans to play any more tournaments," she said.
Her appearance at the low-key competition in Pattaya was to support the deprived children of Thailand and to test her ability to return to the WTA Tour full-time.
Hingis, winner of five Grand Slam singles trophies and 76 WTA tour titles, was the youngest player to be crowned world number one at the age 16.
She withdrew from all tournaments in October 2002 complaining of a persistent foot injury. She had undergone surgery on her left ankle in May that year.
swissinfo with agencies
Hingis lost her first-round match to Germany’s Marlene Weingärtner 6-1, 2-6, 2-6.
It was Hingis’s first match on the women’s tour for more than two years.
She withdrew from the sport because of a persistent foot injury.