The Black Ferns Sevens team have been bundled out of the Glendale Sevens in the semi-finals by eventual champions the USA after a horror conversion that could have sent the match into extra time.
The Americans went on to win the tournament, downing Australia in the final in Colorado, after beating New Zealand by two to reach the decider.
At 19-17, Kelly Brazier had the chance to level the scores in the semi-final and send the match to extra time, but she hooked the conversion from out on the right flank badly.
The improved United States starved Australia of possession in the final after knocking off defending world champions New Zealand in their semi.
The Americans went ahead after the half-time buzzer and controlled the second half.
"We worked hard to put ourselves into the final, we've come some way but have a heap more to go," Australian coach John Manenti said.
"I thought we showed courage, but lack of possession hurt us.
"Keeping Russia and France scoreless earlier in the day was a positive that we can draw from as well as the performances of Charlotte Caslick, Vani Pelite and Emma Tonegato, who I thought were world class."
Both Caslick and Tonegato were named in the team of the tournament.
The series takes a two-month break before the second event in Dubai from December 5-7, which will also mark the beginning of the men's world series.
Australia's women have already qualified to defend their Olympic title in Tokyo next year, while the men can book their spot with victory in next month's Oceania Sevens tournament in Fiji.