Patty Schnyder's hopes of qualifying for the WTA Championship in Madrid were dealt a blow when she was beaten 6-2, 7-5 by Slovak Daniela Hantuchova in the first round of the Zurich Open on Tuesday.
There were more upsets upset when Tatiana Golovin of France crushed seventh-seeded Czech Nicole Vaidisova 6-2, 6-0 and Russia's Anastasia Myskina was upset 6-3, 6-3 by Swiss qualifier Timea Bacsinszky.
Myskina has now lost her opening match in five of the six tournaments she has played since Wimbledon.
Swiss Schnyder, the sixth seed who reached the final last year before losing to Lindsay Davenport, has often struggled against Hantuchova, losing six of their previous 14 matches.
She looked lethargic on Tuesday, dropping her serve in the third game when she sent a forehand long. Another forehand error cost her another break at 4-2.
Hantuchova maintained the pressure in the second set, holding three break points in the opening game and two more at 1-1 before Schnyder sent an easy forehand volley long to give the Slovak a break for 4-3.
Hantuchova struggled to close out the match, though, facing a break point for the first time at 5-4 and then double-faulting. Even though she broke again for 6-5 she needed to fight off a break point as she served for the match a second time.
"I didn't get the chance to really play," Schnyder told reporters. "She played a solid match and after coming from Moscow I only had the chance to play for 30 minutes on centre court, which wasn't enough. I wish I'd had a better first round and then been able to play my way into the tournament. Now it's over."
Golovin, playing her first match since reaching the Stuttgart final 10 days ago, always held the advantage against an erratic Vaidisova.
Holding a break point for 2-0 and two more to lead 3-1, Golovin eventually broke through by claiming Vaidisova's serve at 3-2 when the Czech put a wild double-handed backhand wide.
Vaidisova, who reached the Moscow semi-finals last week before losing to Nadia Petrova, continued to make errors against an aggressive and increasingly confident opponent.
Russian Maria Kirilenko, who has engaged British coach Nigel Sears in an attempt to reverse a slump that had seen her win just four matches in her last 11 tournaments, earned a welcome 6-4 7-6 win over Swiss wild card Emmanuelle Gagliardi.
After trailing 1-4 in the second set, she won a long sixth game and broke again at love to level at 4-4. Gagliardi then broke for 5-4 but failed to serve out the set and Kirilenko attacked a second serve to give herself two match points at 6-4 in the tiebreak before tying up victory in just under two hours.
Eighth-seeded Italian Francesca Schiavone swept aside American Meilen Tu 6-2, 6-1 but Serbian Jelena Jankovic was stretched by Bulgarian qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova before reaching the second round with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory.