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Champion Mauresmo beaten by Vaidisova
July 03, 2007 20:33 IST
Last Updated: July 04, 2007 00:35 IST
Champion Amelie Mauresmo's Wimbledon reign ended in a bizarre fourth round encounter on Tuesday when she was upset 7-6, 4-6, 6-1 by Czech teenager Nicole Vaidisova.
In a match featuring three rain disruptions and a confused umpire who lost his bearings midway through the tussle, 14th seed Vaidisova downed an out-of-sorts Mauresmo with a barrage of hefty groundstrokes.
After an error-riddled performance including 14 double faults, the Frenchwoman suffered her earliest exit from the grasscourt grand slam since 2001.
She left court shaking her head in disbelief and desperate to escape an arena which had turned into her own personal torture chamber.
"It was a shitty match," summed up the fourth seed, who has been struggling to regain her form following a two-month layoff with appendicitis.
"Everything went wrong. I'm disappointed with the way I wasn't able to play today and that is especially frustrating."
"I'm struggling to get the confidence back."
On booking her place in the last eight here for the first time, Vaidisova grinned: "I'm not a huge fan of grass... of course I like it now."
For the third time this year, Mauresmo's grand slam dreams were ripped apart by a Czech opponent.
Lucie Safarova beat her at Melbourne Park in January and at Roland Garros four weeks ago.
Mauresmo was leading 4-2 in the first set when showers first came down but 18-year-old Vaidisova proved to be a gutsy opponent and roared back to save three set points in the tiebreak before taking it 8-6 with a little help from Hawkeye.
Umpire Kim Craven then lost the plot, forgetting whose serve it was and at which end the players should start the second set.
He caused much bemusement first picking up the phone to consult someone, then climbing down from his chair and rummaging through a bag before finally seeking advice from a ballboy.
A second downpour sent the players scurrying back into the locker room with Mauresmo again leading 4-2 in the second set.
After resuming the match for a third time, Mauresmo levelled the contest but her usual flow of elegant volleys and angled winners soon dried up.
Mauresmo, beaten by Vaidisova in their last two meetings, imploded in the decider and bowed out by netting a service return.
Vaidisova will next play Serbian sixth seed Ana Ivanovic.