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Ana Ivanovic upset by ranked 133!

Top seed Ana Ivanovic puts her head in her hands during her shock defeat to Zheng Jie of China.

Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, clear favourite to win Wimbledon for the first time this year, was humbled in the third round on Court No. 1 by Zheng Jie of China. Zheng, ranked 133 in the world, secured the astonishing 6-1, 6-4 victory in 72 minutes.

The 24-year-old Zheng was playing at Wimbledon for only the third time and had fallen down the rankings after missing last year with an ankle injury. Her opponent, in contrast, was number one in the world and French Open champion. But Ivanovic, 20, had shown signs of frailty in her second round match against Nathalie Dechy of France, having to save two match points. And turmoil followed her every step of the way against Zheng.

The Chinese woman was playing a calm and precise game and remained unflappable as she neared her astonishing achievement. Ivanovic was chasing the match from the start and the ultimately the task proved beyond her.

Ivanovic was thrust into the top spot in the women’s game because of the unexpected retirement of Justine Henin. She responded to her elevation by winning at Roland Garros but at Wimbledon there were fewer factors in her favour. She is a clay court player of great presence but a counter-puncher like Zheng was always likely to worry her on grass.

Zheng also benefited from a better start than the top seed, taking the first set after only 30 minutes. If there was a test of nerve in the early stages, the woman from Sichuan province passed it comfortably.

Zheng needed just one set point to take the lead. First she had to save four break points at 5-1, and when that was done she went to set point with a drop shot on her backhand side with Ivanovic on the baseline. A service winner gave her the first set.

There were signs at the start of the second set that Ivanovic might recover and start to take control of the match. She held her opening serve but from 1-1 there were three breaks of serve in succession, leaving the Serb 3-2 behind.

Thereafter, Zheng stayed in command, maintaining a high percentage of quality shots. At 5-4 she served for the match. After an Ivanovic forehand winner on the first point, Zheng then produced four service winners in a row, the last one spinning off the Serbian’s racquet and flying out to take the Chinese into the fourth round and a meeting with Agnes Szavay.

No 1 seed Ana Ivanovic looks lost for words after her shock straight sets defeat to Jie Zheng of China.