<
>

Top-seeded Simona Halep ousted by Ana Ivanovic in Dubai

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Defending champion Simona Halep of Romania and Garbine Muguruza of Spain lost in the second round of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Wednesday to leave the tournament without any of its eight seeded players.

Top-seeded Halep was ousted by former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 7-6 (2), 6-2, while second-seeded Muguruza was upset by Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 7-6 (3), 6-3.

Fourth-seeded Petra Kvitova also lost Wednesday night to American Madison Brengle 0-6, 7-6 (1), 6-3.

All eight seeded players -- Halep, Muguruza, Kvitova, Carla Suarez Navarro, Belinda Bencic, Karolina Pliskova, Roberta Vinci and Svetlana Kuznetsova -- lost their opening matches at Dubai.

Third-ranked Halep had a set point at 40-30 when serving at 5-4 for the first set, but netted a backhand to squander the opportunity.

"Yeah, was close," Halep said. "First set I had set ball. I couldn't finish, and then I lost a little bit of confidence and it was over."

The 17th-ranked Ivanovic broke Halep's serve in the first game of the second set to secure a path to the Dubai quarterfinals for a fourth time in her career.

"I think it was one of the highest quality matches I have had in maybe (the) last year," Ivanovic said. "I knew I had it in me, so I really believed throughout."

Muguruza seemed out of step on court throughout the match, hitting 68 unforced errors to only 28 for Svitolina. The Spaniard admitted she's very unhappy with the start to her year, especially having to deal with left foot injuries.

"I think I'm not really ready to compete," Muguruza said. "I think I just need to start from zero again and kind of forget these couple of tournaments, I guess."

France's Caroline Garcia upset third-seeded Suarez Navarro of Spain 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 .

Garcia was four points from victory at 5-3, 15-15 in the third set when a hail and thunderstorm swept the area, suspending play for 3 hours, 39 minutes.

Garcia took advantage of the rain delay to eat and sleep.

"I stay positive all the match," Garcia said. "It works well. Very happy to finish it."