Ana Ivanovic wins in less than 45 mins.
BIRMINGHAM, England -- Former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic needed less than 45 minutes to get off to a strong start in her tuneup for Wimbledon.
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Ivanovic launched winner after winner with her groundstrokes, tearing apart Georgia's Anna Tatashvili's serve in a 6-1, 6-0 win Wednesday at the Aegon Classic.
The Serb is the tournament's highest remaining seed at No. 2, and despite any doubts instilled by seven months without a title, she is a strong favorite to win in Birmingham.
"I had forgotten how lovely the grass is. It's great to be back on it," she said.
"I lost the first game because I was feeling a bit passive, but when I stepped in a bit more it changed the match," she said.
So encouraged was Ivanovic with the way she felt, she even allowed her thoughts to consider Wimbledon ambitions.
"I really would like one day to win that trophy," she said.
Ivanovic next plays Rebecca Marino of Canada and could have a semifinal with the resurgent Mirjana Lucic, a Wimbledon semifinalist at the age of 17 who last month reached her first WTA quarterfinals in 12 years.
The day was even more trying for Alison Riske, who had to endure five rain delays, which meant the American's 6-3, 6-4 win over Sarah Gronert of Germany took 5½ hours to complete.
Riske had both happy memories and an exciting prospect to sustain her. Last year, having given up the chance of a degree at Vanderbilt University, she played so well here in progressing through qualifying and into the semifinals that she was awarded a Wimbledon wild card. This year, having crept to the verge of the top 100, Riske has gained a Wimbledon place on merit.
Three more seeds were eliminated: No. 6 Ekaterina Makarova of Russia, No. 9 Ayumi Morita of Japan and No. 11 Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan. Half of the 16 seeded players in the draw have been sent packing.
Third-seeded Peng Shuai had to survive a scare. The Chinese player has just reached the world's top 20 for the first time but went a break down in the final set before squeezing through for a 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2) win over British qualifier Naomi Broady.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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