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Ivanovic retains top spot despite Wimbledon carnage

Ivanovic fell in the third round to China's Zheng Jie while Jelena Jankovic, Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova, all failed to make the last eight.
AFP | By HT Correspondent, London
UPDATED ON JUL 01, 2008 08:56 PM IST

Ana Ivanovic will retain her world number one ranking despite the record carnage suffered by the leading Wimbledon women's seeds.

Ivanovic was top seed in Wimbledon, but fell in the third round to China's Zheng Jie while number two Jelena Jankovic, third seed Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova, the fourth seed, all failed to make the last eight.

Their dismal performances marked the first time in the Open era that all four top seeds failed to make the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam.

Kuznetsova, who fell in the fourth round to Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska and could have claimed the number one ranking had she won the title, believes the top players suffer because of the short build-up to Wimbledon.

"Grass courts are very tough to get used to, and nobody has time to get used to them after the French Open," said the former US Open winner.

"None of the other girls went to play one week before Wimbledon, because everybody needs rest. The season is too long. It's no way from the French Open to get in good shape for Wimbledon.

"You have to prepare extremely well and be extremely lucky in the first rounds to get through and then get better."

Serbian second seed Jankovic, with her knee heavily strapped and furious at being exiled out to Court 18 for her fourth round defeat to Tamarine Tanasugarn, couldn't resist complaining about the length of the season.

"We play almost all year. We play almost nine or ten month which is very hard on our bodies. And we have to compete at the highest level. We have to always be ready. There are no substitutes. It is an individual sport."

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