Hobart, Tasmania, 8 January 2013 | AAP

Australian wildcard Ash Barty has lost in the first round of the Hobart International to defending champion and world No.32 Mona Barthel.

In a match that didn’t get underway until just before 11.30pm AEDT, German ninth seed Barthel recovered from a slow start to win 2-6 6-0 6-1 in 70 minutes.

The 16-year-old Barty will still head to Melbourne for the Australian Open, where she was also granted a wildcard, with plenty of confidence.

After improving her ranking in 2012 from No.669 to 175, Barty last week scored the biggest victory of her career at the Hopman Cup in Perth when she beat former French Open champion Schiavone in straight sets.

Compatriot Jarmila Gajdosova remains alive in the Hobart draw after defeating Switzerland’s Romina Oprandi in her opening round match.