DOHA: Ana Ivanovic made the second round of the Qatar Open on Monday, but she was denied a full match as rival Carla Suarez Navarro retired with a back problem in the second set.
Ivanovic, the former world number one, who has now slipped to 19th in the rankings, had won the first set 6-1 and was leading 4-1 in the second when her Spanish rival quit after receiving courtside treatment.
And the Serbian star knows she has a long way to go before she reaches the level that saw her win the French Open in 2008.
But despite the challenges, the Serbian beauty added that her goal was to get as higher in the rankings as possible.
Meanwhile, former US and French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova survived a tough first set to beat Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez-Sanchez 7-5, 6-3.
As the top eight seeds who have been given first round byes enjoyed a rest, the first upset of the event came when Kazakhstan's Ksenia Pervak defeated the 10th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenko of Russia 1-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Israeli Shahar Peer and China's Shuai Peng also advanced, beating Arab wild cards Nadia Lalami of Morocco and Fatma al-Nabhani of Oman respectively in straight sets.
The Qatar Ladies Open is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with six of the top 10 players taking part including world number one Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. (AFP)