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Ivanovic, Dementieva stave off late fightbacks
June 27, 2007 19:49 IST
Last Updated: June 27, 2007 23:10 IST
French Open finalist Ana Ivanovic overcame Hungarian Melinda Czink 6-0, 7-6 in the first round at Wimbledon on Wednesday.
The Serbian sixth seed with a powerful serve raced through the first set in 19 minutes.
Left-hander Czink, who had lost both their previous meetings, rallied at the start of the second set, breaking Ivanovic when she sent the ball long.
Ivanovic broke back in the fourth game, which was interrupted for 40 minutes for rain but the 1.86 metres tall Serb was made to work for her points from then on.
Czink, ranked 133 in the world, forced the set to a tie-break, only to give Ivanovic the match when she put a forehand out.
Russian Elena Dementieva got her Wimbledon off to a belated start with a 6-1, 7-6 defeat of France's [Images] Nathalie Dechy.
The tall 12th seed, a quarter-finalist last year, romped through the opening set of her delayed first round match and had a break early in the second set before rain threatened to throw her off track.
Dementieva's last two tournaments have been curtailed by French opposition and she seemed determined there would be no repetition, although she was eventually made to sweat and was almost dragged into a third set.
The Russian, a former French and U.S Open runner-up, had kept her nose in front in the second set but Dechy, playing with much more aggression than in the early stages, broke back at 5-4 down.
Dechy then led 5-1 in the tiebreak and had a set point at 6-5 but a fired-up Dementieva dug herself out of trouble with some fierce baseline hitting to set up a second round against Czech Iveta Benesova.
Meanwhile, Anna Smashnova will want to forget her last ever tour match after she suffered a 6-0, 6-0 whitewash against Martina Mueller in the first round.
The 30-year-old Israeli, once ranked as high as 15 in the world, would have hoped for a more memorable outing in her final tournament after winning 12 titles in a 16-year professional career.
She never managed to shine at the Grand Slams with two fourth round appearances at the French Open her best showings.
She always struggled to adjust her baseline style to the grass at Wimbledon and after spraying too many shots outside the boundaries, she bowed out after just 43 minutes.
It was her seventh successive first-round defeat at the All England [Images] Club.
German 32nd seed Mueller will next face either Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska or Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova.