Ivanovic loses in 1st round of French Open

Ana Ivanovic was overcome with emotion after losing in the first
round of the French Open on Tuesday, shedding tears as she
considered her injury-plagued season.

The 2008 French Open champion lost to Johanna Larsson of Sweden
7-6 (3), 0-6, 6-2. She also lost in the first round at the
Australian Open.

”I try to look back and see what I’ve done then and to do the
same things,” the 20th-seeded Ivanovic said tearfully. ”I’m just
trying to work it out.”

For Larsson, it was only her second win in four Grand Slam
appearances.

The 64th-ranked Swede saved four set points to force a first-set
tiebreaker. She then took a 4-0 lead and hit a forehand winner to
clinch an opening set in which Ivanovic made 17 unforced errors to
only three for Larsson.

However, Ivanovic fought back by winning six straight games in
the next set.

”I just tried to forget about it quickly and move on and keep
thinking positive,” Larsson said. ”I was really thinking about
how nice it is to play in this big court and with all this crowd,
and I was trying to get some help from them. It worked in the
end.”

Unforced errors caught up with Ivanovic in the final set as the
Serbian netted a backhand to give Larsson a 3-1 lead before sealing
her own demise by sending a forehand into the net.

”I felt like I was running out of power in the end,” Ivanovic
said. ”I couldn’t really adjust small steps and dominate with my
forehand or couldn’t really put that extra zip on the ball.”

Ivanovic has worked hard to put her career back on track but her
season has been marred by injuries. She had an abdominal strain
that forced her to withdraw from the Sydney International in
January and miss the Qatar Open in February. She injured her
abdominal again in a Fed Cup match against Slovakia in April and
withdrew last week from the Strasbourg International because of
left wrist inflammation.

”I had physios traveling with me the last couple of weeks,”
Ivanovic said, ”but it hasn’t worked out the way it was supposed
to. It’s very frustrating.

”I feel like it’s all there. I just need to be healthy and to
be able to play. … The inflammation is gone, so I hope it’s not
going to come back.”

Ivanovic has not reached the last four of any tournament this
year, while Larsson has advanced to the semifinals twice.

The 22-year-old Larsson cracked the top 100 last June.

”Right now I hope to get under 50, and then always keep getting
better and (higher) in the rankings,” Larsson said. ”My vision is
for sure top 10, but we take it step by step.”