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Tzipi Obziler's first match as a top-100 player ended in disappointment Tuesday morning when the 33-year-old Israeli lost 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, to Germany's Julia Schruff in the first round of the $185,000 tennis tournament in Acapulco, Mexico.
Obziler, who is currently ranked a career best No. 95 in the world, has been in excellent form recently, but struggled against Schruff in her first match on clay this season. The slow red surface has never been Obziler's favorite, a sentiment that is unlikely to change after Tuesday's defeat. The loss means that Obziler, who only broke into the top 100 for the first time last Monday, will return to Israel earlier then hoped and will train with coaches Oded Ya'akov and Yuval Higar in the next few weeks before she rejoins the tour.
After both players held serve in the first two games of the match, the next five games went against serve, giving Schruff (No. 83) a 4-3 lead.
The German held her serve in the subsequent game and came within a single point of taking the set five times in the ninth game. Obziler saved all five set points and reeled off five straight games on her way to a 7-5 first-set win and a 1-0 second-set lead.
But Schruff dramatically improved her play as the match progressed and took 12 of the next 15 games.
Obziler couldn't cope and fell to a 0-3 career record against Schruff.