Mauresmo's hopes dashed by qualifier

PARIS Thu May 29, 2008 2:55pm BST

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PARIS (Reuters) - Local favourite Amelie Mauresmo was dumped out of the French Open second round in a shock 6-3 6-4 defeat by Spanish qualifier Carla Suarez Navarro on Thursday.

Two-times grand slam winner Mauresmo, who before Roland Garros had not played since last month's Fed Cup tie in Japan due to an abdominal injury, struggled with her serve and the 22nd seed bowed out after 72 minutes.

However, Mauresmo refused to blame her injury for the defeat.

"Frankly, I don't know what to say right now, because there was nothing much on my side, apart from a few games in which I was slightly more aggressive and not letting her play that game that much," she told a press conference.

"I don't know if I let her impose her style too much, because she has a typically Spanish style.

"It's usually men playing like that, so she has a very long shot, but her balls were not that fast."

Suarez Navarro, who knocked out Pauline Parmentier in the first round, could face a third Frenchwoman in a row if Nathalie Dechy were to beat Australian Casey Dellacqua.

The Spaniard, making her grand slam debut, was the first to hold serve in the fifth game and broke her opponent again courtesy of a Mauresmo double fault to open up a 5-2 lead and snatch the opening set in 34 minutes.

Mauresmo, who has never made it past the quarter-finals in Paris, dropped serve again in the fourth game of the second set and despite managing three games in a row, was broken again in the ninth.

The 19-year-old Suarez Navarro, who had Spain's former champion Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario watching her from the stands, went on to claim victory on her first match point when Mauresmo sent a backhand long.

(Editing by Miles Evans)

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