Ivanovic crashes as Halep, Dimitrov progress at Open


BRIEFS-ivanovicMELBOURNE: Fifth seed Ana Ivanovic crashed out of the Australian Open in the first round Monday but rising stars Simona Halep and Grigor Dimitrov successfully kicked off their bids for Grand Slam glory. She began her year in the worst possible way, blowing her chances against unheralded world number 142 Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic after easily winning the first set. Halep opened the 2015 proceedings on a cool day with the wind swirling around Rod Laver Arena with a 6-3, 6-2 defeat of Italy’s Karin Knapp in 88 minutes. Tenth seed Dimitrov, dubbed “Baby Fed” for his playing similarities to Swiss great Federer and a picture-perfect one-handed backhand, also progressed with an easy 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 win over German Dustin Brown.


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