Johanna Konta’s struggles continued as the British number one lost to Australia’s Ashleigh Barty in the first round of the Wuhan Open.
World number 43 Konta was beaten 7-5 6-4 in one hour 40 minutes at the hard-court event in China.
Konta also lost to world number 17 Barty in the final of the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham in June.
Since then, Konta has won just eight of her 18 matches, including early exits at Wimbledon and the US Open.
“We have played a few times and it is always close, but I am happy to come through in straight sets today,” said 16th seed Barty.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza beat Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck to advance to the second round.
The world number 14 from Spain won 6-4 6-0 to gain revenge for a surprise second-round defeat as defending champion at Wimbledon earlier this year.
American Madison Keys and Puerto Rican Olympic champion Monica Puig also won their first-round matches to join the likes of Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki, who received byes, in the second round.