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Keothavong throws away shot at Schiavone

ESPN staff
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Anne Keothavong served for the match against Mirjana Lucic © Getty Images
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Anne Keothavong threw away a comfortable lead as she suffered a third successive defeat on the clay, bowing out of the Strasbourg International in France.

The British No. 2 had victory firmly in her sights, but suffered a 2-6 7-5 6-4 reverse at the hands of Croatian qualifier Mirjana Lucic.

After sailing through the opening set, Keothavong looked to be firmly on course for victory when she served for the match at 5-3, but Lucic battled back, winning four games on the spin to force a decider.

After an early exchange of breaks, Lucic broke once more to lead 4-3 as she held on to secure victory in two hours and 23 minutes.

Lucic will now face former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, who raced past Alexandra Cadantu 6-1 6-2, while Keothavong will head to Paris to prepare for the French Open without a win on clay this season.

Schiavone was the only seed to win on Tuesday, however, as a number of contenders crashed out. Third seed Maria Kirilenko was the biggest casualty, although she had fought back to one-set all before injury forced her to retire against Sloane Stephens. Other seeds to be knocked out included Mona Barthel, Aleksandra Wozniak and Marina Erakovic.

At the Brussels Open there was a similar story - with the lowest seed in action on the day, No. 7 Shuai Peng beaten 7-5 6-3 by Sofia Arvidsson. Eighth seed Kaia Kanepi avoided that fate in beating qualifier Irina Falconi 6-3 6-2, while there were also wins for Bojana Jovanovski and Yanina Wickmayer.

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