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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 June 2006, 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK
Mauresmo handed surprise defeat
Amelie Mauresmo
Mauresmo will head to Wimbledon short of match practice on grass
World number one Amelie Mauresmo's Wimbledon preparations suffered a severe blow when she fell at the first hurdle in Eastbourne.

The top seed, who received a bye into the second round, lost 6-3 2-6 3-6 to fellow Frenchwoman Nathalie Dechy.

The strong wind on the south coast appeared to unsettle Dechy initially but she grew in confidence.

Mauresmo went 5-1 down in the deciding set and despite rallying briefly, she could not recover.

Kim Clijsters' defence of her title got off to a swift start as Vera Zvonareva retired injured after just three games.

The world number two, who had a bye in round one, was looking good before the Russian slipped in the second game.

Zvonareva, who aggravated a toe injury, called the trainer in the next game but was forced to retire after 10 minutes.

"It was a great feeling that I had out there, it is just a shame it couldn't last a bit longer," said Clijsters.

"I was hitting the ball well and I was really enjoying it out there."

Clijsters, who reached the last four at the French and Australian Opens this year, now plays sixth seed Francesca Schiavone of Italy in the quarter-finals.

Justine Henin-Hardenne needed more than an hour in the blustery conditions to get past Kveta Peschke 6-2 6-1.



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