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Rediff.com  » Sports » Djokovic drops set en route to fourth round

Djokovic drops set en route to fourth round

Last updated on: January 23, 2009 16:24 IST

Serbia's Novak Djokovic recovered from dropping his first set of the tournament to beat American Amer Delic 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 in the third round of the Australian Open on Friday.

The defending champion lost the second set after a brief lapse in concentration but regained his composure to win the next two, despite being pushed to a tie-breaker in the fourth.

Delic, who was promoted to the main draw as a lucky loser when Nicolas Kiefer pulled out, troubled the world number three with his booming serve but Djokovic's big-match experience proved decisive.

Djokovic's next opponent will be either Mardy Fish or Marcos Baghdatis.

Roddick ends Santoro's last dance in Melbourne

Seventh seed Andy Roddick brought Fabrice Santoro's last Australian Open appearance to an end with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory in the third round on Friday.

The 36-year-old Frenchman, who was the oldest man in the main draw, has said that 2009 would be his final year on the ATP tour.

Roddick had no sentimentality for the wily French player who was appearing in his 66th grand slam tournament, blasting him off court in 98 minutes, slamming down 22 aces in the process. Santoro was loudly cheered by a small contingent of French fans and given a bottle of champagne at a special presentation by tournament director Craig Tiley after the match on the secondary show court on Hisense Arena.

"I have been coming here since 1991, which is a long time," Santoro said in a televised courtside interview. "This is one of my favourite places and I have very special memories of Melbourne Park."

Santoro also lost in the first round of the men's doubles.

Roddick will meet Spain's Tommy Robredo in the fourth round after he comfortably beat Taiwan's Lu Yen-hsun 6-1, 6-3, 6-2.

Surprise package Dokic into fourth round

Spurred on by a pumped up capacity crowd, Jelena Dokic continued her fairytale run through the Australian Open with her second successive victory over a seeded player.

Dokic, riding high on the wave of public sympathy and support, upset Denmark's 11th seed Caroline Wozniacki 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 to advance to the fourth round of the year's first Grand Slam.

The Australian's victory came hot on the heels of her second round win over Russia's 17th seed Anna Chakvetadze, which was her first over a player in the top-20 in five years.

Dokic will meet either Alisa Kleybanova or 2008 runner-up Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round.

Top seed Jankovic into fourth round

Top seed Jelena Jankovic advanced to theĀ fourth round after overcoming Japan's Ai Sugiyama 6-4, 6-4 in a baseline tussle.

The Serbian will next play France's Marion Bartoli, who beat the Czech Republic's Lucie Safarova in three sets.

Jankvoic gained a double break in the first set to lead 4-1 before Sugiyama fought back to 4-3. Her momentum ended there, however, and Jankovic sealed the set when Sugiyama netted a forehand smash.

The match developed into a slugfest, the set going with serve until the seventh game when Jankovic seized her first opportunity and broke to take a 4-3 lead.

The 33-year-old Sugiyama then took a medical timeout for treatment to her back and left leg, before the world number one went on to wrap up victory in one hour, 41 minutes.

Safina powers past Kanepi

World number three Dinara Safina clobbered her way into the last 16, her 6-2, 6-2 win over Kaia Kanepi a triumph of force over finesse.

The third seed was joined in round four by fellow-Russian Nadia Petrova. The 10th-seeded Petrova sauntered through in double-quick time when Galina Voskoboeva quit after losing the first set 6-1.

The Kazakhstan player retired with a back injury.

Safina's big brother Marat Safin features in the tournament's first juddering clash of tennis juggernauts later on Friday when the 2005 winner takes on 13-times Grand Slam champion Roger Federer under the floodlights.

Safina advanced effortlessly with an easy victory over the Estonian 25th seed to reach this stage for the first time.

"There's a first time for everything," she beamed. "Twice I lost in the third round. I was like this today: 'this is the third time -- should be the luckiest one'.

In truth she needed little luck and bludgeoned her way to victory in 66 minutes.

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