Rio 2016 Olympic champion Laura Ludwig lost her first match back after a two-year break at the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) Beach World Tour event in Xiamen.
Ludwig is playing alongside former Germany team captain Margareta Kozuch at the four-star event.
The duo lost their opener against Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink of the Netherlands, despite winning the first set.
The final score was 18-21, 21-18, 15-8 to the Dutch.
Ludwig last competed in 2017, before taking time off to have a family.
Elsewhere, top seeds Barbora Hermannová and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic secured victory.
They comfortably beat Ukraine's Diana Lunina and Maryna Samoday 21-13, 21-16.
The top seeds in the men's event also won their opening clash easily.
Anders Mol and Christian Sorum of Norway defeated China's Li Zhuoxin and Zhou Chaowei 21-13, 21-15.
The competition continues tomorrow.