Simona Halep started fast but hit the skids in a return to tennis on Tuesday at the Miami Masters just days after a 2022 doping ban against her was overturned, with the former No. 1 going down 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 to Paula Badosa.

The two-time Grand Slam winner last played a match at the US Open two years ago (568 days) before testing positive for a banned substance which was later found to have been contained in a tainted supplement handed to her by a coach.

The 32-year-oldĀ mounted a protest with her ban overturned just day ago by the Court for Arbitration of Sport in Lausanne.

She was quickly handed a wild card into the Miami event for her triumphant comeback to the sport after 18 months of forced absence.

Halep ran away with the opening set against a Spanish opponent plagued for months by back injuries. 

But Badosa proved too resilient as she engineered a comeback to earn a second-round spot in two hours on court.

The No. 80 who once stood second in the world, levelled the sets on her fourth chance and secured victory on a third match point.

Halep was playing Miami for a tenth time, with a 2019 semi-final her best effort.

Main photo:- Paula Badosa comiserates with Simona Halep after winning first round in Miami – by Jimmie48/