Mauresmo bundled out by Ivanovic at Sydney

Ana Ivanovic of Serbia-Montenegro beat the second seed 6-3, 7-5 in the second round of the Sydney International tournament.

tennis Updated: Jan 10, 2006 10:44 IST

Second-seeded Amelie Mauresmo was bundled out of the Sydney International in an upset 6-3, 7-5 second-round loss onTuesday to Ana Ivanovic of Serbia-Montenegro. Mauresmo, in her first match since winning the season-ending WTA Championship and finishing 2005 in the top three for the second consecutive season, struggled with her serve.

It was her second loss to rising star Ivanovic, following a third-round upset at the last French Open.

Ivanovic, who finished last season at No 16 in the rankings, put everything into her groundstrokes and had Mauresmo on the defensive. With Mauresmo serving to stay in the match for a second time at 5-6, Ivanovic ripped a forehand return winner and a forehand crosscourt winner on consecutive points to set up two match points. Mauresmo saved one, but then dumped a forehand into the net. Belgians Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne advanced in straight sets to the quarterfinals.

Top-seeded Clijsters, in her first match in Australia since breaking her engagement with Lleyton Hewitt in 2004, had a 6-3, 6-1 win over China's Li Na in 53 minutes.

Fifth-seeded Henin-Hardenne, who put Martina Hingis' comeback into perspective with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Hingis on Monday, returned for a 6-2, 6-2 second-round victory over Vera Dushevina of Russia. Before her straight sets win over Hingis, Henin-Hardenne had not played since October due to right hamstring strain. Henin-Hardenne, who won the Sydney title in 2004, said her first round was her first pain-free match in nine months and showed little signs of concern against Dushevina.

Reigning U.S. Open champion Clijsters took some time to adjust to the heat, coming off an exhibition tournament win over world No 1-ranked Lindsay Davenport in cool conditions at Hong Kong. The 2003 Sydney champion broke Li's serve in the opening game and then again, after saving four break points of her own. Li converted her fifth breakpoint chance in the opening game of the second set before Clijsters reeled off six consecutive games to finish in 53 minutes.

Clijsters, who won nine titles in 2005, clinched the match on her third match point.

"I've always enjoyed playing here and I've had some really great memories here."

Clijsters was among the seven women's seeds in action Tuesday. No 6 Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2004 US Open winner, led Dinara Safina 6-3 when her fellow Russian withdrew because of blisters on her left foot.

Clijsters, dubbed "Aussie Kim" by the crowds during her relationship with Australian men's star Hewitt, doesn't appear to have lost any of her following among the Sydney crowd. Hewitt is the top-seeded player in the men's draw and is chasing his fifth Sydney title.

Since the break up with Clijsters, Hewitt has married Australian actress Rebecca Cartwright and the couple had a child, daughter Mia, last month.

First Published: Jan 10, 2006 10:44 IST