Former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic crashed out of the Pan Pacific Open yesterday but top seed Jelena Jankovic and Beijing Olympic gold medalist Elena Dementieva marched on.
Ivanovic, the second seed who reached the top of the rankings after winning her first Grand Slam at Roland Garros, fought back from losing the opening set against Nadia Petrova to take the second and level the match.
But she lost her service in the first game of the final set and never recovered, falling to the Russian 6-1, 1-6, 6-2.
Her Serbian compatriot Jankovic and Russian third seed Dementieva safely made the quarter-finals, joining Dinara Safina.
Jankovic, aiming to regain the No. 1 ranking she held for just one week during the Olympics, breezed past Flavia Pennetta of Italy 6-2, 6-1, while Dementieva whipped Alize Cornet of France 6-0, 6-3.
The unseeded Petrova, ranked 20, used her powerful groundstrokes and charged hard to the net on any short balls as she dismantled Ivanovic’s game.
When she fired a forehand winner on her advantage point to break Ivanovic for a second time in the final set, it was always going to be her day.
However Ivanovic appeared satisfied as she “really enjoyed my time. I’m just very happy to have an opportunity to get in the matches again.”
“Every set was pretty one way,” she said.
“I started the first game of the first set, it was really important and she broke me to win. It was very hard for me to break her. I tried to dominate but I was making too many mistakes,” Ivanovic said.
“In the second set, I tried to change a little bit with more spin and it worked really well, so I tried to do the same in the third set. But in the first two games I was holding back and she just went for her shots,” she said.
Dementieva earned a place in the lucrative season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha, Qatar from Nov. 4 to Nov. 9 with her win yesterday.
She joins Jankovic, Serena Williams, Safina and Ivanovic in qualifying for the elite US$4.45 million event.
“This is great that I’m going to be there, because this year I was fighting to get into the tournament. It’s very nice, I’m very excited about Doha,” said Dementieva, ranked fourth in the world.
In other matches, sixth seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland defeated Marion Bartoli of France 6-2, 6-3, while fifth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia powered past Japan’s Ayumi Morita 6-1, 6-1.