Dubai - Defending champion and top-seeded Simona Halep of Romania was ousted by Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 7-6 (2), 6-2 at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Wednesday.
The third-ranked Halep had a set point when serving at 5-4 for the first set, but netted a backhand to squander the opportunity.
The 17th-ranked Ivanovic broke Halep's serve in the first game of the second set to reach the Dubai quarter-finals for the fourth time in her career.
Halep is the sixth straight seeded player to lose their opening match in Dubai this year.
Carla Suarez Navarro, Belinda Bencic, Karolina Pliskova, Roberta Vinci and Svetlana Kuznetsova have already lost.
France's Caroline Garcia upset Suarez Navarro of Spain 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 earlier Wednesday.
Garcia was four points from victory at 5-3, 15-15 in the third set when a hailstorm swept the area, suspending play for 3 hours, 39 minutes.
Garcia ate and slept during the delay and closed out the match when they returned.
"I stay positive all the match," said Garcia. "It works well. Very happy to finish it."
Barbora Strycova of Czech Republic trailed by a set and a break before defeating Julia Goerges of Germany 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 to advance to the quarter-finals.
"I can't believe how slow I started, but I'm happy that I got the win," Strycova said. "I wasn't feeling well at the beginning but I pulled though in my head. It was tough."