Ivanovic loses in 4th round at French Open

Updated: 31 May 2009 15:29 IST

Defending champion Ana Ivanovic was eliminated from the French Open's fourth round on Sunday, losing to Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-2, 6-3.

Ivanovic loses in 4th round at French Open

Paris:

Defending champion Ana Ivanovic was eliminated from the French Open's fourth round on Sunday, losing to Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-2, 6-3.

The eighth-seeded Serb did little right on Court Suzanne Lenglen, converting only two of her five break points and making 20 unforced errors.

Before the final game of the first set, Ivanovic called for a trainer to look at her neck. Azarenka then held to take the lead, and broke Ivanovic's serve in the first and third games of the second set to take a 4-0 lead.

Ivanovic won her only Grand Slam tournament title at last year's French Open.

The 19-year-old Azarenka lost in the fourth round at Roland Garros last year, and will next be playing in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.

Dinara Safina had a much easier time on center court, advancing to the quarterfinals by conceding only one game in a 6-1, 6-0 win over Aravane Rezai of France.

No. 20 Dominika Cibulkova also reached the quarterfinals in the women's draw, while Andy Murray and Fernando Gonzalez advanced in the men's tournament.

The top-seeded Safina won 11 straight games to close out the match. She has lost only five games through four rounds at Roland Garros, and has won four of the eight sets she has played at love.

"I'm just surprised that it's really like five games that I lost before getting into the quarters," Safina said. "It's not a bad feeling, and I hope if I continue like this I can go a long way."

Safina took over the No. 1 ranking this year, but she has yet to win a Grand Slam title. She lost to Ana Ivanovic in last year's French Open final, and fell to Serena Williams in this year's Australian Open title match.

But since taking over the top spot in the women's rankings, Safina said things have been easier on her.

"It was too much pressure for me," Safina said of the rise to the top. "It was always going on the court not to lose a match, and of course it's always difficult to play when you step on the court and you're afraid of losing.

"So I think once I go to No. 1 spot, I took it (off) my shoulders. Like, OK, I'm there where I wanted to be. Now I just want to go out there and play."

Cibulkova beat No. 29 Agnes Szavay of Hungary 6-2, 6-4 in a sloppy match that had a combined 17 winners and 66 unforced errors.

The 20-year-old Slovak won five straight games in the second set to lead 5-2, but she was broken while serving for the match and had to wait a few more minutes to serve again and advance to her first major quarterfinal.

"I felt like I going to cry because I was just so happy," Cibulkova said of how she felt after winning match point. "This moment _ for this, I play tennis, for these moments."

Szavay upset third-seeded Venus Williams in the previous round.

On the men's side, Gonzalez became the first player to reach the quarterfinals, beating Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-2, 6-4, 6-2, and Murray soon followed with a 7-5, 7-6 (4), 6-1 win over No. 13 Marin Cilic of Croatia.

Gonzalez, who reached the 2007 Australian Open final, ended the match with his 21st forehand winner. He finished with 50 winners and only 16 unforced errors.

"I tried to win every point," said Gonzalez, who will face Murray in the next round. "And then I'm trying to not be risky if I don't need it. Maybe I got a break, and then I can start to hit my huge shots. ... When I have to use my shot, I use it, because I know I'm going to win the match with my forehand and my serve."

The 12th-seeded Chilean also reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros last year, but lost to eventual finalist Roger Federer. Hanescu reached the French Open quarterfinals in 2005 but also lost to Federer.

Gonzalez was a semifinalist at the two other clay-court tournaments he entered this year, but missed a pair of others with an ankle injury.

"I was signing autographs after one of the matches in Rome. They called me from the other side of the court, and I went like running after the match and twist my ankle," Gonzalez said. I went back to the locker room because it was really painful. That's how it happened."

Topics : Tennis
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