DOHA, Qatar (AP) -- Caroline Wozniacki failed to convert three match points and lost to Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3) in her opening match at the Qatar Open on Wednesday.
Wozniacki, playing her first match since losing the No. 1 ranking after the Australian Open, received a bye into the second round. She had all three match points in the 10th game of the third set.
"I am disappointed to have lost like this,'' said the Dane, the runner-up in Doha last year. "I had three match points but wasted them. I just want to move on from here.''
Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, in her first match ranked No. 1, dispatched Mona Barthel of Germany 6-1, 6-0.
Safarova saved the match points with groundstroke winners, then broke Wozniacki and forced a tiebreaker. At 3-3, Safarova had three winners from the baseline against a tiring Wozniacki to pull away, and she won on her first match point after nearly 2 1/2 hours.
Safarova will meet Svetlana Kuznetsova in the third round on Thursday. Kuznetsova beat fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko 6-4, 6-4.
Shahar Peer of Israel beat Jelena Jankovic 7-6 (4), 6-2, and defending champion Vera Zvonareva retired while trailing Monica Niculescu of Romania 7-5, 3-2 because of pain in her left hip.
No. 4-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 5 Marion Bartoli also won in straight sets, but No. 7 Francesca Schiavone lost to Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 7-6 (6), 6-4.