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PTT Pattaya Open

Morita shows top seed Ivanovic the exit

Ana Ivanovic hits a forehand shot during her match with Ayumi Morita.

Ana Ivanovic hits a forehand shot during her match with Ayumi Morita.

Lady Luck evaded top seed Ana Ivanovic, who was making second appearance at the PTT Pattaya Open, once again. The Serbian suffered a 6-3 7-5 6-3 defeat in her rain-interrupted first-round match against Japan's Ayumi Morita at Dusit Thani Pattaya hotel yesterday.

After her match against the world No 60, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday evening, was twice called off due to rain, the 25-year-old returned to court under clear blue sky early in the day.

The 25-year-old Ivanovic might have been disappointed at the interruption on Wednesday when the momentum seemed to swing back in her favour after she managed to come back from a set down to draw level. Serving at 1-2 on resumption in the deciding set yesterday, the Serbian surrendered her service game to hand Morita the advantage the Japanese would never relinquish.

Looking well below the standard, evidenced by a number of wayward shots, Ivanovic failed to earn any break point before the 22-year-old Morita secured a memorable win by serving out. The victory meant that the underdog has improved her head-to-head record against the world No 13 to 2-2.

While bemoaning lack of practice time, Ivanovic, who suffered a second round exit at the US$ 235,000 tournament two years ago, admitted that she was beaten by a better opponent.

"I really think she played a very good match. I started a little slow because it's very hard to get off from Melbourne and I didn't have much time to practice all due to the rain. So, I had only one hit before my match today," said the Serbian.

"I actually came back in the second set but she didn't give me much, not letting me to miss a single shot. Today again, she really started that well. I thought I served well in the first game but she came up with some return winners. All credit to her."

With her relatively poor results in the tournament so far, Ivanovic was not clear answer whether she would come back next year. But, the pin-up girl did say that she enjoyed her time at the resort city.

"I think it's just very hard to come here from Melbourne. When you really try your best at a grand slam, it's very hard to get to another event so soon.

"But, I really enjoy this place, the people are very friendly. It's also a nice place to relax. I hope the weather would not be like this every year," said Ivanovic, who became the second of the seeded players to go out of the event following third seeded Taiwanese Su-Wei Hsieh's first round elimination on Monday.

Not long after Ivanovic's match, the rain returned to cause more interruption to play. Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova, who started her title defence against Russia's Olga Puchkova, was one of the players affected by nature's wrath.

With the world No 55 scheduled to play twice on the day, Hantuchova looked well on course for a quick win when she took the first set 6-1. But the rain interrupted play when she was trailing 0-30 on her serve at 3-4 in the second set.

The Slovakian lost the game and eventually the set on resumption after more than four hours. But, she did more than make up for that by blanking her opponent in the decider to book a second round meeting with another Russian opponent Nina Bratchikova.

On court two, Varatchaya Wongteanchai's run in the event came to an end in the second round when the Thai went down to a 6-3 7-6 (4) defeat against Australia's Marina Erakovic.




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