Ivanovic wins in Linz despite toilet penalty

Linz, Austria,:Former No 1 Ana Ivanovic was docked a game for taking too long in the toilet but still eased past Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2 to reach the Generali Ladies quarterfinals.

Second-seeded Daniela Hantuchova, who won the event in 2007 on her last appearance, also advanced after defeating Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-4, 6-3. Hantuchova will face Swiss veteran Patty Schnyder, whom she beat in that 2007 final.

Ivanovic asked for a toilet break after winning the opening game of the match but the umpire gave her four penalty points - effectively a whole game - upon her return for taking too much time on Thursday .

The chair umpire explained to the booing audience that she was docked one point for every 20 seconds she went over the time limit.

Ivanovic blamed the incident on "a miscommunication" and said she thought she had been allowed to leave the court.

"I felt a bit sick so I had to go to the toilet," the seventh-ranked Ivanovic told Austrian broadcaster ORF. "I asked the referee and I thought he granted me permission to go
so I was really surprised to be punished."

WTA rules state bathroom breaks should be taken on a set break. However, if taken during a set, it must be taken before the player`s own service game. If a player has been authorized to leave the court before her opponent`s service game, then the player is leaving the court "on her own time" and will be penalized if not ready to play within the allowed time.

Ivanovic later revealed on her Facebook page she was getting sick after eating yogurt just before the match.

"I wasn`t expecting to go on court so early," she said.

"I wasn`t aware of the rules and anyway I simply had to go to leave the court because I knew I was going to be sick."

The Serb, who won the event in 2008, said the incident did not put her off.

"It did not disturb my concentration and it didn`t really matter because I won the match," she said.

Ivanovic next meets Julia Goerges of Germany, who beat fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-1 to reach her fifth quarterfinal of the season.

Goerges won her only WTA Tour title in nearby Bad Gastein in July.

Schnyder, twice a runner-up in Linz, lost her serve in the opening game against Klara Zakopalova before routing the eighth-seeded Czech 6-2, 6-0.

Eleni Daniilidou of Greece saved three set points before defeating Austria`s Sybille Bammer 6-1, 7-6 (2). Daniilidou next plays sixth-seeded Andrea Petkovic.

Bureau Report