As she embarks on her comeback in professional tennis after a four-year absence, Tracy Austin realizes the path may not be as smooth as the original one that led to the No. 1 ranking at 17.

In her return Wednesday night, Austin, 25, teamed with Robin White in a two-set loss to the top-seeded doubles team of Betsy Nagelsen and Dinky Van Rensberg, 7-6, 6-1 ,in the $100,000 Virginia Slims of San Diego tournament.