Former world number four Kimiko Date's international comeback ended in defeat in the first round of the Auckland Classic on Monday.
Now playing under the name Date-Krumm, she succumbed 6-4, 6-3 to American Jill Craybas in her first WTA tournament outside Japan in 13 years.
The 38-year-old Japanese player, who unexpectedly came out of retirement last year, looked dazed at the start and promptly lost the first four games against Craybas.
She fought back to trail 5-4 in the first set but paid the price for holding serve only once in the second.
"My opponent wasn't the type who tries to overpower you but she played a smart game," Date-Krumm told Japanese reporters.
"I was in shape to play but practice is different from an actual game."
Seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues, Aleksandra Wozniak, Shahar Peer and Nicole Vaidisova all enjoyed a good start to their 2009 seasons.
Third seed Medina Garrigues of Spain overcame a tricky start to overpower Italy's Mara Santangelo 7-5, 6-0.
Fourth seeded Canadian Wozniak defeated Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-7, 7-5 number five Peer beat Petra Cetkovska 7-6, 6-2 and former Australian Open semi-finalist Vaidisova squeezed past Russia's Alla Kudryavtseva 7-6, 4-6, 7-5.