Former world number one Ana Ivanovic was knocked out of Wimbledon in the first round yesterday and then revealed she won’t play again until the Olympics to recover from a wrist injury. The 2008 French Open champion was stunned by Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova, the world 223, losing 6-2, 7-5 to the Grand Slam debutant. But the 28-year-old Serb blamed only her second opening round loss at the All England Club in 12 visits on a right wrist injury.
“It was very hard to accelerate on my forehand. I tried to do everything possible to be fit and recover and tape it and so on,” said Ivanovic, who reached the semi-finals at the All England Club in 2007. Ivanovic admitted that she had considered pulling out of Wimbledon after the wrist became inflamed when she was playing at the Mallorca warm-up event. “I think I’m going to take some time off. My next tournament will be the Olympics. So hopefully that will give it enough time to settle down. Hope to do an MRI and see what’s going on,” she said.
Ivanovic added that she has no worries about playing at the Olympics despite fears over the Zika virus which has prompted a host of sports stars to pull out of the Games. Fears over the packed playing schedule have also led to a number of no-shows in Brazil.
Fellow players John Isner, Dominic Thiem, Bernard Tomic, Nick Kyrgios and Feliciano Lopez have all opted not to take part. Czech world number nine, and former Wimbledon finalist, Tomas Berdych has admitted that the virus could also force him to skip the Olympics.
“It’s a great honour for me to represent my country,” said Ivanovic. “I was already a couple of times a member of the team. To play Rio, it’s been my big dream, to be part of it. I’m very, very thrilled.”
On fears over the Zika virus, she added: “Well, I’m happy to go and play. I feel it’s safe enough.”
Alexandrova had won just one match on the main tour in her entire career before yesterday’s shock win over the 23rd seed. The 21-year-old, whose career prize money of just under $60,000 paled in comparison to Ivanovic’s $15 million, goes on to face Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam in the second round.
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