LINZ, Austria – Next time, Ana Ivanovic will take a bathroom break before her own service game.
When she left the court after holding serve in the opening game against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova at the Generali Ladies, she was ahead 1-0. When she returned, the match was tied 1-1.
Ivanovic was docked four points for taking too long in the bathroom after she felt ill from eating yogurt. Despite the bathroom time violation, Ivanovic defeated Zahlavova Strycova 6-3, 6-2 Thursday to reach the quarterfinals.
The chair umpire said she was docked one point for every 20 seconds she went over the time limit.
Ivanovic blamed it on "a miscommunication," saying she thought she had been allowed to leave the court.
"I felt a bit sick, so I had to go to the toilet," the seventh-ranked Ivanovic told Austrian broadcaster ORF. "I asked the referee and I thought he granted me permission to go so, I was really surprised to be punished."
WTA rules state bathroom breaks should be taken on a set break. However, if taken during a set, it must be taken before the player's own service game. If a player has been authorized to leave the court before her opponent's service game, then the player is leaving the court "on her own time" and will be penalized if not ready to play within the allowed time.
Ivanovic, who won the event in 2008, said she was motivated by the time violation.
"It did not disturb my concentration, and it didn't really matter because I won the match," she said.
Ivanovic revealed on her website that she was feeling sick after eating yogurt before the match. She said she was caught off-guard by her start time because the previous match ended quickly.
Up next for Ivanovic is Julia Goerges, who beat fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova 6-2, 6-1.
In other matchers, second-seeded Daniela Hantuchova defeated Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4, 6-3.
Hantuchova, the highest-ranked player in Linz after Serena Williams pulled out with a foot injury, overcame an early break and cruised to victory.
Hantuchova will face Patty Schnyder, who lost serve in the opening game against Klara Zakopalova before routing the eighth-seeded Czech 6-2, 6-0.
Eleni Daniilidou saved three set points before defeating Sybille Bammer 6-1, 7-6 (2).