Ana Ivanovic loses in first round

SYDNEY -- Ana Ivanovic's Australian Open preparations hit another obstacle Sunday when the former No. 1 player lost to Lucie Safarova 7-6 (5), 6-2 in the Sydney International.

Ivanovic, the 2008 French Open champion, lost to Kim Clijsters in the second round last week in the Brisbane International. That means the Serb will have had just three tournament matches going into the Grand Slam event next week at Melbourne Park.

Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova, the Wimbledon champion who is seeded No. 2, have first-round byes in the joint ATP-WTA Sydney tournament. Top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro and the three other men also have first-round byes.

At 5-5 in the first-set tiebreaker, Ivanovic missed an easy smash at the net that would have set up a set point.

"I kept replaying that shot in my mind throughout the whole match," she said. "I felt like that was the turning point."

Ivanovic said she would travel straight to Melbourne to get ready for the Australian Open.

"It gives me plenty of time to work on a few things and tune up a few things, but I feel my game is there," she said. "It's still going to be good to have a few days to work. I had a good offseason and I just want to try and keep at it."

In another first-round match, former Australian Open quarterfinalist and top-10 player Jelena Dokic beat fellow Australian Isabella Holland 6-0, 6-0.

The only other first-round match Sunday was halted because of rain in the third set with Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia up a service break and leading Peng Shuai of China 6-2, 4-6, 4-3.