08
Jan
12

It’s more of the same for Ana Ivanovic as she goes out in the first round in Sydney.

Ana Ivanovic of Serbia plays a backhand shot in her first round match against Lucie Safarova at the Sydney International tennis tournament in Sydney, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012. Safarova won the match 7-6, 6-2.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

Ana Ivanovic, whose Australian Open preparations hit another snag,  fell to Lucie Safarova 7-6 (7-5) 6-2. Ivanovic started her match confidently as both players held serve in the first set, and even looked to have the upper hand at 5-5 in the tiebreak when she was presented with a regulation smash to bring up set point. But instead of punishing Safarova, Ivanovic inexplicably slammed the shot into the net, before later admitting she never recovered from that error. “I kept replaying that shot in my mind throughout the whole match,” she told reporters after the match. “I felt like that was the turning point.”

Ivanovic indicated she will now head straight to Melbourne to continue her haphazard preparations for the Australian Open. The 22-year-old was defeated in the second round of last week’s Brisbane International by Kim Clijsters, meaning she will have had just three tournament matches going into the Open at Melbourne Park beginning January 16. “It gives me plenty of time to work on a few things and tune up a few things, but I feel my game is there,” she said. “It’s still going to be good to have a few days to work. “I had a good off-season and I just want to try and keep at it. “It would be great to have a result straight away but sometimes it’s a process and it takes time.”

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