- The Washington Times - Friday, August 29, 2008

NEW YORK | Top-seeded Ana Ivanovic lost in one of the biggest upsets in tennis history Thursday, upset by 188th-ranked Julie Coin 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in the second round of the U.S. Open.

Coin screamed when Ivanovic’s last shot sailed out, then hopped for joy and hit an extra ball high into the stands. Ivanovic quickly gathered her gear and left the court, her hopes of another Grand Slam championship dashed.

Even after Ivanovic struggled in the first round while coming back from an injured thumb, this loss was unexpected.

Coin spent much of the year playing in minor league events, and nearly got knocked out of a qualifying event to merely make it into the Open.

It just didn’t add up, even to the 25-year-old Frenchwoman with a mathematics degree from Clemson. Asked whether she had thought such a win was possible, Coin gave a simple answer.

“No,” she said.

And when did she believe it might happen?

“I guess when it was over,” she said, drawing a huge ovation from the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

If there was any suspicion that Coin was wavering, she steadied herself by winning 10 straight points in the third set. It was Ivanovic who looked jittery, hitting shots directly into the net or way out.

Never before in the Open era that began in 1968 had the No. 1 woman lost this early in the tournament.

During the first four days at the U.S. Open, almost all of the favorites had won. Handily, too, with Venus Williams leading the romps earlier in the day.

But when the Ivanovic-Coin match was moved from the smaller Louis Armstrong Stadium to the main Ashe stage, fans hardly knew what was in store.

Tentative at times, Ivanovic seemed to regain her edge midway through third set. The French Open champ led 40-0 in the fifth game and was about to break Coin’s serve when suddenly the momentum shifted.

Coin came back to hold, starting her decisive streak.

Ivanovic tried to stave off Coin in the final game, but it was too late for the 20-year-old Serbian star. Coin won on her third match point - quite a result for someone playing in her first tour-level event.

Top-seeded Rafael Nadal avoided a similar fate on the men’s side, beating Ryler De Heart 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.

Venus Williams and sister Serena both won. James Blake, David Ferrer, Andy Murray and Dinara Safina joined them in moving into the third round.

Fourth-seeded Serena Williams routed Elena Vesnina 6-1, 6-1, and seventh-seeded Venus Williams overwhelmed Rossana de Los Rios 6-0, 6-3 in only 59 minutes.

“I’m very satisfied so far the way it’s gone,” Venus Williams said.

She is the last woman to win consecutive championships at the U.S. Open but hasn’t taken the title since 2001.

Blake advanced when Steve Darcis pulled out because of a bad lower back. Seeded ninth and coming off a tough, five-set win in the first round over Donald Young, Blake lost the first set 4-6, then won 6-3 and was ahead 1-0 when Darcis retired.

The fourth-seeded Ferrer beat Andreas Beck 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (5), and the sixth-seeded Murray defeated Michael Llodra 6-4, 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7).

The sixth-seeded Safina, not nearly as volatile as brother Marat Safin, played under control in beating Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-3.

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