In a match of "good and evil", a little too much of the latter had Sam Stosur beaten in straight sets by Czech Fed Cup opponent Lucie Safarova.
The Australian world No.9 was overcome 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4) on Saturday by the left-hander, who sits another nine places down the women's tennis rankings.
Stosur had hoped the Fed Cup tie would prove a turning point for her so-far deflated 2013 season but errors, including a set-point double fault at 5-3 in the first, proved costly for the Aussie.
"It was kind of good and evil out there at times," Stosur said of the match, denying that nerves played a part in her performance.
"I thought I moved quite well. My slice backhand not only kept me in points but won me a lot of points.
"I was happy with most of my game to be honest. I was actually quite happy with the way I served but then I hit those double faults."
Other than Stosur's strong start, which gave her a 4-1 lead, baseline rallies formed the majority of play.
"When it really comes down to it, you get those big points, you've got to try and make first serves, use your weapons and dictate the point and unfortunately I don't feel like I got myself in a position during those points to dictate," Stosur said.
"Sometimes that was my fault, sometimes it was due to her good play."
Mid-way through the second set Stosur called for a medical time out to receive courtside treatment on her leg.
"I haven't had it properly assessed yet, but something down in my right thigh ... area just really locked up," the Australian said.
"I don't know whether it's strain or just getting tired ... hopefully I get a bit of work done on it tonight and it will be fine for tomorrow."
On Sunday Stosur is due to face world No.8 Petra Kvitova who, earlier on Saturday, defeated Jarmila Gajdosova 7-6 (7-2) 6-3.
The Aussies enter the final day of play down 2-0 against the reigning Fed Cup champions in the best-of-five match format, meaning that Gajdosova may not need to play her reverse singles.
The final match scheduled for the tie is doubles featuring Australia's Fed Cup debutante Ashleigh Barty who joins Casey Dellacqua against Czech world No.3 pair Lucie Hradecka and Andrea Hlavackova.