Top seed Ivanovic of Serbia withdraws with injured thumb

BEIJING -- Top seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia
withdrew from the Olympic tennis event on Sunday with an injury
to her right thumb.

"This is one of the hardest moments of my career and one of
the hardest decisions I've had to take," 20-year-old Ivanovic
told a news conference at the Olympic Tennis Center.

"I was so looking forward to playing here and being part of
this occasion."

Ivanovic, who will be replaced by fellow Serb Jelena
Jankovic at the top of the world rankings on Monday, said she
had not been able to practice since arriving in China.

The French Open champion was due to play Mariya Koryttseva
of Ukraine in the first round but said she would go home "in a
day or two" to try to recover in time for the U.S. Open.

Ivanovic said she suffered the injury when she returned to
practice following a two-week break after her disappointing
showing at Wimbledon where she lost in the third round.

"I've tried everything to recover and I've had more
treatments in 10 days than I've had in my life," she said.

"I tried to play in Montreal and get some matches but it
was so painful I went back to get some more treatment. I decided to come here and try to practice but it was too
painful. I haven't played at all in the last 10 days."

The injury, which Ivanovic described as inflammation of the
carpal-metacarpal joint, casts doubt over her participation at
the U.S Open which starts later this month.

"It's too early to say," she said. "I don't want to get my
hopes too high because I only have two weeks to recover. It's
really frustrating. We will talk to the doctors again and see
what the best thing is to do."

Ivanovic joins a growing list of players who have pulled
out of the Olympic tennis event. Maria Sharapova withdrew with
a shoulder injury and Lindsay Davenport pulled out of the
singles on Friday with a knee injury.

In the men's draw Croatians Ivo Karlovic and Ivan Ljubicic
both withdrew injured from the singles on Saturday.