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Ivanovic and Bouchard stumble in tennis clash

By Nick Purewal

Reigning champion Ana Ivanovic and 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard were high-profile losers in the second round of the Aegon Championship in Birmingham.

Ivanovic, the world number seven and second seed, was beaten 6-4 3-6 7-6 (8/6) by Portuguese qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito while fifth seed Bouchard was ovecome 6-3 4-6 6-0 by Kristina Mladenovic.

Bouchard was knocked out by Kristina Mladenovic in the first round of the French Open last month and has now lost nine of her last 10 matches.

There was another loss of star power at the tournament when former world number one Victoria Azarenka withdrew with a left foot injury. She said: "It's very disappointing for me to make this decision but I tried to practise and it just doesn't feel 100 per cent.

"I don't think it's the best time for me to take a risk right now, especially right before Wimbledon and I need to make sure I have the best preparation possible."

Number 16 seed Caroline Garcia also exited early, thrashed 6-3 6-0 by Klara Koukalova.

There was better news for Carla Suarez Navarro, Angelique Kerber, Sabine Lisicki, seeded third, fourth and eighth respectively, as they emerged victorious at the expense of Timea Babos, Tsvetana Pirokova and Belinda Bencic.

Barbora Strycova, runner-up to Ivanovic last year, is also in the next round following a 6-3 6-4 victory over Lucie Hredecka.

Elsewhere, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Christina McHale, Jelena Jankovic, Magdalenda Rybarikova and Daniela Hantuchova all booked their places in the third round.

British wildcard Naomi Broady, who beat Ajla Tomljanovic on Monday, was knocked out by top seed Simona Halep 6-4 6-2.

Britain's Laura Robson has not been included in the first set of wildcards for Wimbledon, but former champion Lleyton Hewitt has been given one.

Robson (21) has not played for 17 months because of injury, but could return at Eastbourne this weekend.

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