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Page last updated at 16:22 GMT, Monday, 22 September 2008 17:22 UK

More misery for fading Mauresmo

Amelie Mauresmo
Mauresmo, a two-time Grand Slam winner, lost out to her 19-year-old rival

Amelie Mauresmo suffered another blow in her bid to claw her way back up the world rankings, losing in the first round of the China Open in Beijing.

The former world number one, down to 25 in the rankings, took the first set against Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova but crashed to a 6-3 4-6 3-6 defeat.

"It's disappointing, especially since I thought I was playing some pretty good tennis," said the 29-year-old Mauresmo.

Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic are seeded one and two in Beijing.

The Serbians are currently ranked number two and four in the world respectively, with American Serena Williams leading the way following her US Open success.

US Open finalist Jankovic briefly reached the number one ranking in August, while Ivanovic has struggled with injury and form since winning the French Open and topping the standings back in June.


"I think every player needs to face injury in their career," said Ivanovic. "I couldn't even hold my racket.

"What I need to do is keep a positive attitude. I need to give myself time to get back."

New world number three Dinara Safina, who captured the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Sunday, has withdrawn from the tournament because of injury.

Cibulkova's win was her second in a week over Mauresmo following her victory at the Pan Pacific Open.

Mauresmo said her continuing injury problems had limited her practice time this year, although she said she had been injury-free for the past two months.

"I will have to digest this one and make sure I go back on the right track for the next few tournaments," said the former Wimbledon and Australian Open champion.

Cibulkova, aged 19 and ranked five places above her French opponent, wrapped up victory in two hours 30 minutes in blustery conditions in front of a sparse crowd.

see also
Mauresmo crashes out in Florida
12 Apr 08 |  Tennis

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