Rome:Top-seeded Amelie Mauresmo was upset by 29th-ranked Samantha Stosur 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (7) on Wednesday in the second round of the Italian Open.
Mauresmo wasted two match points, including one when she served for the match at 5-3 in the third set.
"Obviously the lack of matches showed a little bit in that moment," said Mauresmo, who missed nearly two months following an appendectomy in March. "When you're out for a while you just want to get back to your level as quick as you can. Obviously I'm not there yet and I'm disappointed about that."
The Italian Open is an important clay-court warmup for the French Open, which begins May 27.
"I'm not even looking ahead. I just have to keep working," Mauresmo said.
Mauresmo didn't drop a set in her five previous meetings with Stosur, but she struggled from the start this time against the Australian, who showed off an impressive serve and expert net game.
Stosur has 21 career doubles titles but none in singles.
Leading 5-3 in the third set, Mauresmo wasted her first match point when she missed a forehand passing shot. Stosur broke back and saved another match point in the tiebreaker when Mauresmo hit a backhand into the net.
"I guess I didn't keep up my intensity like I should have," said Mauresmo, a two-time Rome champion. "I didn't take my chances."
On Stosur's first match point, Mauresmo hit a risky lob that Stosur met with a difficult backhand overhead, setting up an easy winner for Mauresmo. Stosur hit a powerful return of serve on her next match point and Mauresmo netted a forehand.
"The whole match was pretty tight. I just had to keep fighting and do my best," Stosur said. "I haven't played for nearly three hours in a long time, especially on clay."
The upset is another blow to the tournament, which was already without top-ranked Justine Henin - who did not enter. Second-ranked Maria Sharapova and defending champion Martina Hingis pulled out with injuries.
Mauresmo's loss opens the draw for Serena Williams, who is in the same quarter of the draw.
Second-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova and No. 3 Jelena Jankovic advanced. Kuznetsova beat Mara Santangelo 6-3, 6-3, and Jankovic eliminated 16-year-old Austrian qualifier Tamira Paszek 6-3, 6-4.
"The first match is always hard. The surface is a little different from last week," said Kuznetsova, who lost to Ana Ivanovic on Sunday in the German Open final. "I'm playing very good tennis though."
Also, fifth-seeded Nadia Petrova edged Meghann Shaughnessy 7-6 (5), 6-1; sixth-seeded Dinara Safina beat Kaia Kanepi 7-6 (5), 6-2; and No. 7 Anna Chakvetadze defeated Yan Zi 6-1, 6-3.