PARIS, France - Johanna Konta made another early exit at the French Open on Tuesday, losing 1-6, 7-6, 6-4 against world No.109 Su-Wei Hsieh.
The seventh seed, who remains without a main draw win from her three visits to Paris, wasted little time in sweeping to the opening set, winning in just 23 minutes for the loss of just 10 points against Hsieh, of Chinese Taipei.
The match turned around thereafter. Hsieh, a former doubles world No.1 who won the women's pairs at Roland Garros in 2014, alongside Peng Shuai, improved remarkably in the second set and forced four break points in the eighth game, but was unable to convert any.
Konta, who turned 26 earlier this month, had won just four WTA main draw matches on clay and was forced to save another break point in the 12th game before taking it to a tiebreak.
The momentum remained with Hsieh, who overcame a break on the first point to reel off seven points in succession and take the tiebreak 7-2 to level the match. Konta made 13 unforced errors in the 67-minute second set, a huge difference from the ease with which she coasted the first.
The players traded breaks early in the third set before Hsieh took the Briton's service game once again. Serving for the match at 5-4, Hsieh saved four break points before taking the match on the second match point, earning her a first career victory over a top 10 player in 15 attempts.
Konta remained positive afterwards, refusing to blame the surface. "I don't think she played badly in the first set, I came out of the blocks a bit quicker," Konta said. "[After the first set] I created opportunities, I didn't do well enough in converting them. But she did play incredibly well.
"There were some points there where I didn't do much wrong, and she surprised me with how well she moved on the clay and how solid she was. She's an unorthodox player, but uses the best of her ability to her advantage. It was quite windy and she used that to her advantage.
"I don't think that necessarily had anything to do with the surface. I would have liked to have done better with my frustration. I got a little bit frustrated in that third set, and I felt I could have done better with having a bit more perspective. I fought the best that I could. I did not give up at any stage until the very, very last point."
Hsieh, 31, now faces Taylor Townsend, of the United States, in round two. She beat Japanese qualifier Miyu Kato 6-4, 6-0.