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Jankovic and Ivanovic among early Zurich exits

ZURICH, Oct 18 (Reuters) Serbia's Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic joined the exodus of top players at this year's Zurich Open with surprise second-round defeats.

World number three Jankovic was beaten 6-4 6-4 by unseeded Czech Nicole Vaidisova while Ivanovic, the world number four, was downed 6-3 6-1 by fellow teenager Tatiana Golovin of France yesterday.

The two Serbs were playing their opening matches of the tournament after receiving byes into the second round.

Earlier in the day, eighth seeded former world number one Amelie Mauresmo lost 6-2 4-6 1-6 to Ukraine's Alona Bondarenko.

Originally boasting a strong field of 14 top-20 players, including seven from the top 10, the Zurich Open has now lost half of its eight seeded players.

''I wasn't thinking about taking each match at a time but had started to think too much about doing well at the whole tournament,'' Ivanovic said after losing to Golovin for only the second time in eight meetings.

A resident of nearby Basel, Ivanovic had described the Zurich event as a home tournament but denied that had put any extra pressure on her.

''It was more because of how I now see myself as a top player,'' said the 19-year-old Serb who has shot up the sport's rankings following runs to this year's French Open final and the Wimbledon semi-finals.

NERVY PLAY Unusually nervous play by Ivanovic coupled with some fine shots by Golovin allowed the Russian-born Frenchwoman to take command of an entertaining first set.

The second set began with an exchange of breaks but the one by Ivanovic turned out to be her only game of the set as Golovin wrapped up the match with a five-game winning streak.

''I lost to her so many times already, I kind of thought it was my turn to win,'' Golovin said afterwards.

Following Ivanovic on to court for the day's final match, Jankovic paid the price for missing too many key points against Vaidisova.

The world number three converted just one of four break points in the opening set, while her Czech opponent was handed two and seized them both.

In the second set Jankovic finally broke ahead but two further breaks for Vaidisova put paid to any hopes of a comeback by the favourite.

Unlike her fellow seeds, Mauresmo did at least manage to win a set, taking a comfortable lead after breaking Bondarenko twice without reply.

But like Jankovic, the Frenchwoman then missed important points in the second set and was outplayed in the third, flagging as her opponent struck a series of winners.

Organisers will be hoping to avoid similar upsets on Thursday when the top two seeds finally enter the fray.

World number one Justine Henin begins her campaign against Russian world number 23 Vera Zvonareva.

Fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova takes on Austrian world number 21 Sybille Bammer.


Story first published: Thursday, October 18, 2007, 15:13 [IST]
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