Wuhan: World number six Agnieszka Radwanska was booted out of the $2.4 million WTA Wuhan Open on Monday by a determined Caroline Garcia of France in a hard-fought three-set battle.
Radwanska was looking to book her place in the end of season championships in Singapore with a strong showing in Wuhan, but was defeated by a stunning fightback from Garcia, who was a set down in the second-round match.
Garcia, who had sent Venus Williams crashing out in the first round, took the second and third sets at the tie-break in her two hour and 42 minute duel with Radwanska.
The 20-year-old rising star, who is ranked 49th by the WTA, punched the air and jumped with delight after claiming victory.
"I knew I was still close even when I lost the first set, and that I could maybe win the second and third," Garcia told AFP.
"I always tried to believe in it."
Radwanska's defeat dashed her hopes of claiming a place in next month's WTA Championships in Singapore during the Wuhan tournament.
The 25-year-old could have made the season finale, which will feature the top eight women's players, with an appearance in Saturday's final.
The former world number two said she still hoped to make Singapore with a good performance at the China Open in Beijing, which follows the Wuhan tournament, but was reeling from her exit in Wuhan.
"I think it was tough match from beginning to the end. I think it was very tight game," she told AFP.
"Definitely I could have done better in the moments that I should have really stepped forward."
Meanwhile, Alize Cornet of France set up a meeting with world number one Serena Williams in the second round following her two-set victory over Romina Oprandi of Switzerland in her first match Monday.
Cornet, who arrived in Wuhan with her confidence high after reaching the final at the WTA Guangzhou Open on Saturday, took the game with ease at 6-2, 6-1.
She has already beaten Williams twice this year, handing the American power-hitter her earliest defeat at Wimbledon for nine years in June, and also winning at Dubai in February.
Elsewhere in Wuhan, doubles specialist Sara Errani beat British rising hope Heather Watson 7-5, 6-4 in their opening singles match.
The Italian will face Alison Riske of the USA at the next stage.
Germany's Sabine Lisicki defeated Czech world number 15 Lucie Safarova in three sets, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, while tenth seed Jelena Jankovic beat Christina McHale of the USA 6-4, 6-4 in their first-round match.
The Wuhan Open in China's central province of Hubei features the world's top 20 women players.