TIANJIN, China (AP) U.S. Open champion Flavia Pennetta lost in the first round of the Tianjin Open on Tuesday, hurting her chances of qualifying for the WTA Finals in Singapore.
The top-seeded Italian lost to No. 414-ranked qualifier Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine 6-3, 7-5.
Pennetta is currently in the eighth and final spot to qualify for the WTA Finals, but only has a 20-point lead over Timea Bacsinszky, with several other players behind her still in contention.
The Italian announced after winning the U.S. Open last month that she would be retiring from tennis after playing in China and potentially Singapore to finish off the season.
Second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska and third-seeded Karolina Pliskova advanced to the second round. Radwanska beat Olga Savchuk 6-1, 6-0 and Pliskova defeated Kristina Kucova 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Both women are also still in the hunt for spots in the WTA Finals field.
Duan Ying-Ying, Bojana Jovanovski, Timea Babos, Danka Kovinic and Urszula Radwanska also won their opening matches.