Melbourne, 18 January 2011 | AAP

A gutsy second set fightback wasn’t enough for local hope Jarmila Groth, who exited the Australian Open with a three-set first round loss to Belgian 21st seed Yanina Wickmayer on Monday night.

Wickmayer survived a huge scare from soon-to-be world No.34 Groth to triumph 6-3 2-6 6-4 in two hours, six minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Hobart International winner Groth looked in desperate trouble after losing the first set and trailing 2-0 in the second.

But the Slovakian-born 23-year-old turned things around with a cavalier second set display to break 2009 US Open semi-finalist Wickmayer’s serve three times.

The momentum shift looked certain to catapult Groth to a famous victory, but a sloppy opening service game in the third set by the Australian allowed Wickmayer back into it.

From there the Belgian held her nerve and her serve to close out the match.

Groth was the second Australian casualty in the women’s draw on the opening day.

Earlier on Monday wildcard Olivia Rogowska was beaten by Russian Evgeniya Rodina 6-3 6-1.