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Easy passage for Venus as Ivanovic hobbles out

FORMER French Open champion Ana Ivanovic hobbled out of Wimbledon in tears yesterday after conceding her fourth-round match against defending champion Venus Williams.

The 13th-seeded Serbian, who had been swept aside 1-6 in 30 minutes in the first set, called for the trainer in the first game of the second.

While defending champion Williams sat impassively in her chair with a towel wrapped around her shoulders, Ivanovic was treated on the grass with the trainer flexing her left leg. Her thigh was then bandaged and after a 10-minute break, the match resumed.

Ivanovic served out the game but was struggling badly and signaled to the umpire that she was unable to carry on.

"I felt a sharp pain in my inner thigh and I couldn't stand," Ivanovic said. "Over the past few days I have felt muscle tightness but that's normal after playing so much on grass."

She said she would be seeing a doctor later in the day to find out exactly what the injury was.

Venus trailed 15-40 after Ivanovic successfully challenged a line call but struck back to hold serve and sweep through the set with a battery of thunderous ground strokes.

"She (Ivanovic) didn't have a lot of opportunities in that first set and not because she wasn't playing well," Venus said. "I think I was just on top of the ball."

Venus, who played with tape on her left leg above and below the knee, said she was doing everything possible to keep mobile. "This is Wimbledon, it doesn't matter how much pain I'm in," she said. "I'm going to keep playing."


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