Elena Baltacha loses to Irina-Camelia Begu in Hobart

Elena Baltacha in Hobart
Baltacha could not capitalise on her chances against the higher-ranked Romanian

British number one Elena Baltacha has suffered another early exit, losing in straight sets to Irina-Camelia Begu at the Moorilla Hobart International.

The eighth-seeded Romanian won 6-2 7-5 to set up a meeting with compatriot Simona Halep in round two.

Baltacha, who exited last week's ASB Classic in Auckland in round two, put up a decent fight in the second set.

But the Scot could capitalise on only two of six break points against the 21-year-old from Bucharest.

Begu, who is ranked 11 places above her opponent, converted all three of her break points.

British number three Heather Watson, 19, defeated German Kristina Barrois 4-6 7-5 7-6 (7-1) in the third round of qualifying to secure her place in the main draw, where she will face Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova in the first round on Monday.

"It was a marathon today, in tough windy conditions, but my off season training is paying off," Watson wrote on Twitter. "Very happy with that and I'm going to keep fighting!"

Although Romanians won three out of four first-round matches they contested on Sunday, third-seeded Monica Niculescu was swept aside by Anna Chakvetadze of Russia 6-0 6-4 at the pre-Australian Open event.

The other Romanian winners were Sorana Cirstea, who beat seventh-seeded Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan 6-2 7-6, Simona Halep, who defeated Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic 4-6 6-2 7-5.

Australian Anastasia Rodionova beat Greta Arn of Hungary 6-4 7-5.

Meanwhile, China's Zheng Jie won the Auckland Classic after opponent Flavia Pennetta retired hurt with a back injury when Zheng was leading 2-6 6-3 2-0.

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