BEIJING, China - Former World No.1s Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic were bundled out of the China Open on Wednesday, falling to unseeded players in straight sets in the third round of the Premier-level tournament.
The No.11-seeded Ivanovic was the first of the two to fall, falling out of rhythm and losing to crafty Swiss Romina Oprandi in straight sets, 64 63.
"Romina's a tricky opponent - she has really good hands and is a very talented girl," Ivanovic said afterwards. "I really struggled to find my rhythm out there, especially on the forehand. The ball wasn't coming with much pace and I wasn't really efficient in moving forward and taking advantage of that. I always felt I was lacking a little step here and there, and I wasn't adjusting very well.
"I'd seen her play before and expected that, and I got to pretty much all of the shots, but it was the unforced errors that made a big difference today."
What's next for the former French Open champion? "I'm going to play in Linz then Moscow, then obviously the Fed Cup final," she said. "That's a huge thing. It's something I look forward to and definitely want to perform my best for."
Oprandi's win over the World No.12 was the third-best win of her career, following wins over then-No.2 Kim Clijsters at 's-Hertogenbosch last year and then-No.11 Francesca Schiavone at the Australian Open this year.
"It's for sure one of my best wins," Oprandi said afterwards. "You never know what to expect from Ana - sometimes she'll hit amazing winners, but then she might miss two or three shots in a row. I just tried to keep playing my game, and to be in the quarterfinals of a tournament like this is really nice for me."
There is one major difference for Oprandi this year - the three letters next to her name. "I changed from playing for Italy to playing for Switzerland this year," she said. "My mom is Swiss and my dad is Italian - but Switzerland has been giving me some good opportunities, like it's easier to practice there and I have coaches if I need them. I live there, too. It was logical to make the change."
Jankovic came out strong in her match against Carla Suárez Navarro, racing out to a 5-2 first set lead, but the Spaniard clawed her way back - fending off five set points along the way - and eventually carved out a 75 64 triumph.
"Jelena is always difficult to play, but I played well," Suárez Navarro said. "She always fights a lot, but I'm happy to have finished it off. I'm very happy to be in the next round and look forward to playing again out there on Friday."
The other two third round matches took place later in the day, with No.9 seed Marion Bartoli closing out Julia Goerges in a tight two-setter, 63 76(2), and No.3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska rallying from 4-2 down in the third set to make it past Spanish qualifier Lourdes Domínguez Lino, 26 61 64.
The last two second round matches of the week also took place Wednesday, with No.2 seed Maria Sharapova cruising past Sorana Cirstea, 62 62, and Slovenian qualifier Polona Hercog edging Ekaterina Makarova, 76(5) 36 76(3), defying a seemingly insurmountable 5-1 third set deficit to prevail.
"I had never played Sorana before but she has beaten top players and is one of those players who can come out and just have a great day," Sharapova said. "She hits really flat and hard, so I tried to play aggressively and take her time away. I'm happy I played a shorter match than I did in the first round."