Great Britain's Johanna Konta has been eliminated from the French Open at the first-round stage for the third year in succession, despite taking a commanding early lead over Hsieh Su-Wei on day three at Roland Garros.
Seventh seed Konta breezed through the first set on Philippe Chatrier Court, winning it 6-1 in a time of just 23 minutes. However, the versatile world number 109 fought back to take the second after recovering from a 2-0 deficit to reel off seven straight points in a tiebreak.
The duo exchanged breaks in the third before a second consecutive loss of serve from Konta handed Hsieh an another advantage that she would not relinquish as her opponent failed to convert four more break opportunities in a tense final game.
Clay is certainly 2016 Australian Open semi-finalist Konta's least favourite surface. The 26-year-old has yet to win a main draw match at the French Open, losing to Denisa Allertova in 2015 before being beaten by Julia Goerges last year.
She was knocked out of the Stuttgart Open in the second round by Anastasija Sevastova and lost to Laura Siegemund in Madrid before falling to Venus Williams in Rome. Konta's pre-Paris victories over Naomi Osaka and Yulia Putintseva were just her third and fourth WTA Tour wins on the red dust.
Her latest disappointment at Roland Garros comes at a time when there is no clear favourite in a women's singles competition somewhat bereft of star talent. Angelique Kerber suffered the ignominy of becoming the first women's number one seed of the Open Era to be tossed out in the first round following her defeat to Ekaterina Makarova on Sunday (28 May), while Serena Williams is missing her first major for six years as she awaits the arrival of her first child. Maria Sharapova was denied a wildcard by French Tennis Federation president (FFT) Bernard Giudicelli.
Hsieh had beaten Konta once previously in Eastbourne in 2013. As per the Press Association, the right-hander from Chinese Taipei's previous biggest scalp was a 2008 triumph over then 20-ranked Sybille Bammer. She will meet Taylor Townsend next following the young American's 6-4, 6-0 defeat of Miyu Kato.
As for Konta, Britain's sole representative in the women's singles draw after Heather Watson, Naomi Broady and Tara Moore all fell in qualifying, now turns her attention towards the upcoming grass-court season. The third Grand Slam tournament of the year, Wimbledon, gets underway at the All England Club in SW19 on 3 July.