Kerber's Belated Qatar Open Start Ends in Defeat
World number two Angelique Kerber finally got to play her first match at the rain-affected Qatar Open on Thursday and promptly crashed out of the tournament.
She lost 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 to Russian teenager Daria Kasatkina in a second round match, after Kerber received a first round bye.
It is the second time this year that the 19-year-old has won against the former Australian Open champion after beating her at the Sydney International last month, 7-6, 6-2.
"Of course it's always tough to play the first matches after a longer break," said the former number one afterwards.
"But I was not feeling the best today. I'm trying to find my rhythm. But she plays good.
"I think it was, for sure, not my day. I was not feeling the best today."
The tournament had started on Monday, but Kerber had faced a frustrating wait to get out on court.
The defeat caps a miserable start to 2017 for Kerber who lost in the fourth round in Melbourne as she sought to defend her Australian Open title.
To make things worse, the eventual winner Serena Williams then reclaimed Kerber's number one world ranking.
Kasatkina next plays Olympic champion Monica Puig in a last eight clash later on Thursday as organizers desperately try to catch up in a tournament blighted by rain, which has led to the postponement of many matches, as Qatar has suffered some of its wettest weather in years.
Another seed who lost on Thursday was Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, beaten by close friend Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 6-3.
"We always have great matches," said the Dane afterwards. "It was a tough match but I was pleased."
Wozniacki was also set to go back out on court later on Thursday, weather permitting, to play American qualifier Lauren Davis.
Number two seed Karolina Pliskova from the Czech Republic has made it through to the last eight, however, beating France's Caroline Garcia 7-5, 6-4.
She is due to play China's Shuai Zhang later on Thursday.