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Mauresmo collapses again on home clay

Written by: Staff

PARIS, June 4 (Reuters) World number one Amelie Mauresmo suffered another embarrassing exit at the French Open when she was humiliated 6-7 6-1 6-2 by Czech teenager Nicole Vaidisova in the fourth round today.

Mauresmo has long been an under-achiever on home clay, having been knocked out in the first round by German Jana Kandarr in 2001 after arriving in Paris as the hot favourite.

She has yet to make it past the quarter-finals at Roland Garros, a stage she reached twice, in 2003 and 2004.

The Geneva-based Frenchwoman, who was the tournament's top seed, started her French Open quest having broken her grand slam jinx by winning the Australian Open in January.

''I had a little feeling of exhaustion in the second and third sets and she was serving much better than me, while I was not able to hold serve,'' Mauresmo said.

''She was winning easy points on her serve.

''It's disappointing but I think I still have to improve on clay. People should not expect too much from me on clay.'' DEJA VU Seventeen-year-old Vaidisova, who won the Strasbourg tournament a week ago, took her revenge after being thrashed 6-1 6-1 in the fourth round of the Australian Open by Mauresmo.

She will next meet American 11th seed Venus Williams for a semi-final place.

Hitting flat forehand winners, Vaidisova dictated the early points.

Mauresmo, however, broke to love in the sixth game with a forehand winner, only for Vaidisova to break back for 5-4, forcing her opponent into to an uncertain tiebreak.

Mauresmo rose to the challenge to claim the tiebreak 7-5 with a service winner.

The Czech took advantage of Mauresmo's growing nervousness, breaking twice to open a 5-0 lead in the second set, which she won in 28 minutes, giving rise to a sense of dDejGa vu on the centre court.

Vaidisova gained a service break in the first game of the decider, putting a lot more pressure on Mauresmo's shoulders.

This was too much for the local favourite, who squandered two break points when she was 4-1 down.

Mauresmo saved a match point on her serve, only for the Czech player ultimately to end the humiliation on her third match point.

Reuters PDS VP0025

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