Miffed tennis star rejects late invitation

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:01 PM ET

MONTREAL Tennis bombshell Ana Ivanovic miffed at the tournament director has declined a sudden invitation to play in the Rogers Cup next week.

Ivanovic initially had been refused her request for a wild-card entry into the tournament.

Ivanovic said on her website she was hurt by comments that tournament director Eugene Lapierre made last month in denying her a wild-card spot.

Lapierre said in July he preferred to give the invitations to Canadian players because of their drawing potential at Uniprix Stadium.

"Ivanovic lost some of her lustre this year," Lapierre added. "It's not as if she was hurt and wanted to come back to the game."

Ivanovic, who won the Montreal tournament in 2006, has fallen in the WTA rankings followings a string of poor performances. Ranked first in the world following her win at Roland-Garros two years ago, the 22-year-old Serb is now ranked 62nd.

"I was quite hurt by the comments of Mr. Lapierre," Ivanovic said on her website. "I don't think his comments (reminding her of her poor play of late) were necessary."

She also said the invitation this week contradicted what Lapierre said originally that he wanted the wild cards to go to Canadians.

Lapierre suggested in July he already had enough big names enlisted for the tournament without needing Ivanovic.

However, with Serena Williams and Justine Henin not coming, Lapierre seemingly changed his mind and offered a wild-card entry to Ivanovic.

"The fact that my request was refused in the beginning is not really what bothers me," Ivanovic said "I would have liked to have played in the qualifiers, but I got the impression that (Lapierre) kind of stepped over the line. Not only did he make it all public, but, moreover, he also misrepresented our conversation."

Ivanovic, a crowd favourite, apologized to Montreal tennis fans over the issue.

"I am sorry to all of my fans that hoped to see me play in Montreal this year," she said. "I want to thank you for having supported me during the two tournaments that I competed in here. I really appreciate it."

The three remaining invitations to the tournament, which begins Friday, were handed to Quebec players Aleksandra Wozniak, Stephanie Dubois and Valerie Tetreault.


Videos

Photos