Angelique Kerber of Germany gestures during her match against Belinda Bencic of Switzerland at the Fed Cup World Group first round tennis match between Germany and Switzerland in Leipzig, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
Jens Meyer
February 23, 2016

DOHA, Qatar (AP) Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber made a disappointing return to competitive tennis on Tuesday, losing 7-5, 6-1 to China's Zheng Saisai in the second round at the Qatar Open.

Kerber beat Serena Williams at Melbourne in the opening Grand Slam of the year on Jan. 30. The top-seeded Kerber received a first-round bye at Doha.

The tournament also lost its second-seeded player when Simona Halep, the 2014 champion, was beaten by Russian qualifier Elena Vesnina 6-7 (1), 6-4, 6-1.

Zheng will play Eugenie Bouchard in the third round after the Canadian beat Denisa Allertova of the Czech Republic 7-6 (0), 7-5.

Third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska advanced after beating Ukraine's Kateryna Bondarenko 6-4, 6-4 while No. 4-seeded Garbine Muguruza beat Japan's Nao Hibino 6-2, 6-0.

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