Two-time Grand Slam winner Amélie Mauresmo was defeated by Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova in the first round of the China Open. The French player said continuing injuries had limited her practice time this year.
Former world number one Amelie Mauresmo was on Monday dumped out of the China Open, where the battle will continue for the top ranking in the women's game.
Two-time Grand Slam winner Mauresmo, who has plummeted to 25 in the world after an injury-ravaged 2007, took the first set against Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova but crashed to a 6-3, 4-6, 3-6 defeat.
"It's definitely disappointing, especially since I thought I was playing some pretty good tennis out there tonight," said Mauresmo, 29.
"I will have to digest this one and make sure I go back on the right track for the next few tournaments."
The former Wimbledon and Australian Open champion, who hit 13 double faults, said continuing injury problems had limited her practice time this year, although she said she had been injury-free for the past two months.
Cibulkova, ranked five places above the French player, wrapped up victory in two hours 30 minutes in blustery conditions in front of a sparse crowd.
The 19-year-old raised her game in a second set in which both players had trouble holding serve, winning the final three games from 4-3 down to level the match.
In the decider, an increasingly nervy Mauresmo, whose performance was littered with errors, broke in the first game but then lost her serve to love as Cibulkova levelled the scores at 3-3.
The Slovakian, sensing her chance, broke Mauresmo again to lead 5-3 before serving out for the set.
Earlier, Daniela Hantuchova, the seventh seed here, beat Argentina's Gisela Dulko 6-3, 6-1.
The win for the Slovakian, now ranked 13 in the world, followed victory for Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues over Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, also in straight sets.
Hantuchova was pleased with her performance, saying: "I think I did the right thing. I got a lot of break points."
Serbians Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic are seeded one and two at the 600,000-dollar China Open.
New world number three Dinara Safina, who captured the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Sunday, withdrew due to injury.
The women's top ranking has been in flux since Justine Henin's surprise retirement in May, passing between Maria Sharapova, Ivanovic, Jankovic and current number one Serena Williams.
Meanwhile, on the men's side of the draw in Beijing, defending champion and Olympic silver medallist Fernando Gonzalez faces a tough battle to retain his title, with top seed David Ferrer and former world number one Andy Roddick in the hunt.
Date created : 2008-09-23