Ankita Bhambri went out fighting to Taipei's Su Wei Hsieh in the first round of the women's singles at the $100,000 Asian Championships at Tashkent Tennis Centre in the Uzbek capital on Wednesday.
The Indian girl lost 7-6(10), 3-6, 1-6.
Bhambri's teammate Sai Jayalakshmi however had no trouble in advancing. She beat Kokurina of Uzbekistan 6-4, 6-4 to set up a meeting with third seed Chia Jung Chuang of Chinese Taipei, who beat big-serving Uzbek Akgul Amanmuradova.
Chuang has come in to the tournament fresh after winning a $25,000 event in Delhi, where she beat Sania Mirza.
In another first round match, top seed Mi-Ra Jeon of Korea was made to struggle against 15-year-old Uzbek Vlada Ekshibarova before winning 6-4, 6-4.
Watching Jeon's match from the ringside was India's seventh seed Mirza, who is drawn to meet the top seed in the quarter-finals.
Mirza comes into the Asian Championships in good form, winning three $10,000 titles in Italy and England and then making the finals of a $ 25,000 event in New Delhi two weeks ago. She turns 18 in November and is hoping to become the youngest Indian ever to make it to the main draw of the Australian Open 2005.
The men's and women's singles winners at this Asian Championship take home a wild card for the Aussie Open 2005.
In other women's action on Wednesday, Chinese Taipei's third seeded Chin Wei Chan moved into the second round in straight sets. Chan brushed aside Uzbekistan's Elina Arutyunova 6-2, 6-0.
Men's second seed Aisam Ul-Haq Qureshi stayed cool in the sweltering heat for a clinical 6-1, 6-4 win over Thailand's Anuwat Dalodom in men's first round action.
Serving up 13 aces, Qureshi limbered up nicely for the tougher matches ahead. He now plays Malaysia's Yew Ming Si in the pre-quarter-final.
Local favourite Vadim Kutsenko struggled against his low-ranked opponent from Kazakhstan Dias Doskarayev for a three-set verdict in the first round.
Meanwhile, the men's doubles reached the quarter-final stage without any upsets.
Men's singles (!st round): (4) Ti Chen (Tpe) bt Johnny Arcilla (Phi) 6-1, 6-3; (5) Vadim Kutsenko (Uzb) bt Dias Doskarayev (Kaz) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2; (2) Aisam ul-haq Qureshi (Pak) bt Anuwat Dalodom (Tha) 6-1, 6-4.
Women's singles (1st round): (1)Mi-ra Jeon (Kor) bt Vlada Ekshibarova (Uzb) 6-4, 6-4; Madina Rakhim (Kaz) bt Kristina Solodovnikova (Uzb) 6-1, 6-2; Sai J Jaylakshmi (Ind) bt Kokurina (Uzb) 6-4, 6-4; Su-Wei Hsieh (Tpe) bt Ankita Bhambri (Ind) 6-7(10), 6-3, 6-1; (6) Chin-Wei Chan (Tpe) bt Elina Arutyunova (Uzb) 6-2, 6-0; Shu-Jing Yang (Chn) bt Eleonora Sitdjemileva (Uzb) 6-4, 6-0; (3) Chia-Jung Chuang (Tpe) bt Akgul Amanmuradova (Uzb) 6-1, 6-4; Amnia Rakhim (Uzb) bt Maria Tverdikova (Kaz) 6-1, 6-2.
Men's doubles (1st round): (2) Sunil Kumar Sipaeya / Vishal Uppal bt Eduard Khan / Vaja Uzakov 6-4, 6-2; (3) Ti Chen / Yeu-Tzuoo Wang bt Saleh Al Rajeh / Fahad Al Saad 6-3, 6-1; Mohammed Al Ghareev / Abdullah Magdas bt Anoosha Shahghooli / Ashkan Shokoofi 6-3, 5-7, 7-5; Hee-Seok Chung / Young-Jun Kim bt Dmitriy Mazur / Akmal Sharipov 6-0, 6-2; Wayne Wong / Hiu Tung Yu bt Johnny Arcilla / Joseph Victorino 6-4, 7-6 (4); (1) Alexey Kedriouk / Vadim Kutsenko bt Shahab Hassani-Nafez / Bhee Witoonpanich 6-4, 6-4; (4) Murad Inoyatov / Denis Istomin bt Dias Doskarayev /Yew Ming Si 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Women's doubles (1st round): Wilawan Choptang / Napaporn Tongsalee bt Diana Narzikulova / Dilyara Saidkhodjayeva 6-2, 6-3; Ekaterina Morozova / Xenia Palkina bt Huynh Huynh / Po-Kuen Lam 6-2, 6-4.