TORONTO (Reuters) - Ana Ivanovic’s Toronto Cup title defense came to an abrupt end with a 6-3 6-1 second- round loss to qualifier Zi Yan of China on Wednesday.
The fourth-seeded Serb was joined at the exit door by Russian fifth and eighth seeds Anna Chakvetadze and Elena Dementieva and Czech No. 16 Lucie Safarova.
World number one Justine Henin will try to avoid joining the exodus when she returns to action later on Wednesday for her first match since her semi-final loss at Wimbledon.
Fresh from collecting her second title of the season in Los Angeles on Sunday, Ivanovic was unable to carry the momentum to Canada, the 169th-ranked Zi disposing of the world number four in just 65 minutes to record the biggest victory of her career.
“She (Ivanovic) is a top player, I think today I was very lucky, “ Zi told reporters. “Today I was very relaxed because she is a top player and I didn’t think I could win so I just go on to the court to enjoy the match.”
Zi, who has had to qualify for all seven WTA Tour events she has played this season, took charge quickly by breaking Ivanovic at the first opportunity to go up 2-0 in the opening set.
Ivanovic, playing her first match after receiving a first- round bye, immediately broke back to level at 2-2 but Zi was undeterred, winning eight of the next nine games to take the opening set and a 4-0 lead in the second.
The day began with Italy’s Francesca Schiavone ending Dementieva’s title hopes with a gritty 6-7 6-3 6-2 comeback win, while American Meghann Shaughnessy shook off her indifferent form to surprise Safarova 3-6 6-4 7-5.
A trio of Frenchwomen made it through to the last 16, Wimbledon finalist and seventh seed Marion Bartoli and Virginie Razzano advancing when their opponents were forced to retire with injuries.
Chakvetadze, with hardcourt wins in Cincinnati and Stanford last month, retired in the second set with a viral illness trailing Razzano 7-6 2-0 and Bartoli advanced when Russia’s Maria Kirilenko stopped in the second set with a knee injury.
Twelfth seed Tatiana Golovin joined her French compatriots in the third round by easing past Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova 6-4 6-3.
Sixth-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova, runner-up to Ivanovic in Los Angeles, overcame a sluggish start to dent Canadian title hopes with a 6-7 6-2 6-1 win over Stephanie Dubois.
Ninth-seeded Russian Dinara Safina needed just 58 minutes to dispose of French veteran Nathalie Dechy 6-1 6-2 while Swiss 10th seed Patty Schnyder also had smooth passage, speeding past Italian qualifier Flavia Pennetta 6-3 6-2.