Ivanovic crashes out of U.S. Open in first round upset

NEW YORK Former world number one Ana Ivanovic was the first major casualty of the U.S. Open as the Serbian seventh seed fell 6-3 3-6 6-3 to Dominika Cibulkova in the opening match at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday.

The 50th-ranked Cibulkova of Slovakia seized the advantage with a service break in the fourth game of third set for a 3-1 lead and consolidated it with a backhand drop shot to make it 4-1 against the former French Open champion.

A backhand long from Ivanovic, who had her left foot taped midway through the final set, ended the nearly two-hour contest.

“Today I know that my game was there on the court,” said the 26-year-old Cibulkova, who cracked the top 10 last year before finishing the season ranked 11th and reached the quarter-finals last week in New Haven.

“I just had to stay tough and know I had to do it, she doesn’t give away shots.”

Cibulkova, a 2014 Australian Open finalist who earlier this year had Achilles-related surgery on her left foot, will next face American qualifier Jessica Pegula, a 7-5 6-3 winner over Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck.

For Ivanovic, the 2008 French Open champion, the result continued an up-and-down season. The 27-year-old Serb, who reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros this year, was coming off back-to-back quarter-finals at U.S. Open tune-up events in Toronto and Cincinnati.

She also has lost three times to players outside the top-100 this year, including twice at grand slams.

Other early matches on the women’s side went according to script as 13th-seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova dismissed Brazil’s Teliana Pereira 6-3 6-3, and 15th seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland crushed Czech Katerina Siniakova 6-2 6-3.

(Editing by Frank Pingue)

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