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Women’s draw open after loss of top seed

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The US Open women's draw was already a labyrinth before the tournament started last week - no one knew which way it would turn. The last three winners at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center are not competing this year: last year's victor Justine Henin and the 2005 winner Kim Clijsters have retired and Maria Sharapova, tops in 2006, is sitting out due to injury.

The annual event was turned further on its ear last Thursday when world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic was ousted in the second round by French qualifier Julie Coin. The previous earliest exit by a top-seeded player at the US Open came in 1973 when Billie Jean King fell to Julie Heldman.

It's been four years since a No. 1 seed lost in the second round of a Grand Slam. Henin did it at the French.

"Well, I think what I experienced so far is girls, when they play against higher-ranked players, they have nothing to lose so they go for their shots," Ivanovic said.

With her out, the field is wide open. It's a mystery who will be holding up the trophy Sunday.

Coin fell to Amelie Mauresmo, who comes from the same region in France as the qualifier, on Saturday.

Coin's Cinderella run is over, but the door is still ajar for someone people don't expect to leave Queens with the title.

"More players are playing some good tennis," Mauresmo said, "but we don't see a dominant player like there used to be for the last three years."

Posted 6:37 pm, October 10, 2011
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