Dementieva withdraws from Pacific Life Open

Elena Dementieva pulled out of the Pacific Life Open on Wednesday with a right rib injury that may sideline her for upto six weeks.

updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
  • Total Shares

Indian Wells, California:

Add Elena Dementieva to the growing list of star players to pull out of the Pacific Life Open. A right rib injury forced the fifth-seeded Dementieva to withdraw on Wednesday from the tournament that is already missing three of the world's top five players. Dementieva has a stress fracture that could sideline her for six weeks. "I feel very disappointed," the Russian said. "I wanted to play here. I was in the final (last year). "Now I'm going to miss a couple of tournaments." Dementieva felt soreness while practicing in Moscow last week and has been in constant pain since, making sleeping and breathing difficult. Now she joins No 2 Justine Henin, No 3 Amelie Mauresmo and No 5 Kim Clijsters on the list of top names missing from the 96-player field. Top-ranked Maria Sharapova, the defending champion, and No 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova are the top seeds. Wild card Mirjana Lucic took another step in her comeback after nearly four years away from the game due to personal and financial problems. The German-born Croatian earned a 6-4, 7-6 (4) win over Lindsey Nelson of the United States in a first-round match on stadium court. Lucic, a few days shy of her 25th birthday, said she never doubted that she would return as a great player, but financial difficulties prevented her from hiring a coach and doing the necessary traveling. Now she plans to "just play from tournament to tournament and play as many matches as I can. Right now, I feel like I just won a Grand Slam. Right now, every match is huge for me." The 6-foot Lucic, who said she still plays the same "strong, aggressive, powerful" game she did before her hiatus, will face No 8-seeded Anna Chakvetadze in the second round.