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Rediff.com  » Sports » Jankovic knocked out of Open by Bartoli

Jankovic knocked out of Open by Bartoli

Last updated on: January 25, 2009 18:19 IST

Top seed Jelena Jankovic was knocked out of the Australian Open fourth round by an aggressive Marion Bartoli on Sunday.

The Frenchwoman capitalised on the Serbian's poor service game and blasted winners at every opportunity before she ended the world number one's misery 6-1, 6-4 in just 82 minutes.

The unconventional Bartoli, who despite being right handed plays two handed off both sides, had not advanced beyond the Australian Open second round in seven previous attempts.

The 16th seed set up a quarter-final against a Russian Vera Zvonareva, who beat fellow-Russian Nadia Petrova 7-5, 6-4.

"I'm just so happy to be on Rod Laver Arena because usually at the Australian Open I'm playing that badly that I'm on court 21," the 24-year-old said in a courtside interview.

"I think I played amazingly. The last game of the match was pretty tough. I just tried to play my game. I served so well and I'm very pleased to have won."

Bartoli, blasting winners from both sides off the baseline, jumped out to a 4-0 first set lead and, while Jankovic held three break points in the fifth game, the Frenchwoman held her nerve to take a 5-0 lead.

She held two set points in the sixth game but Jankovic was finally able to hold her serve.

The 16th seed, however, was not to be denied the first set, which she clinched with a delicate drop push that left the scrambling Jankovic wafting at thin air.

Jankovic won just 13 points on her own serve in the first set.

Losing the set seemed to wake Jankovic up although neither player was too successful with their serve in the second set, each breaking the other twice in the first eight games.

Bartoli set up her victory when she grabbed her third break of the set, and fifth of the match, with some superb scrambling play.

The world number 17 then served out and thrust her arms skywards when she booked her quarter-final place.

 

Safina survives scare

Gallic good fortune almost continued on centre court when Aliza Cornet was poised for victory over third seeded Russian Dinara Safina, but the Frenchwoman melted in the sun.

She twice failed to serve out the match and squandered two match points in the 10th game as Safina turned up the heat to snatch victory.

SAFELY THROUGH

Safina, whose brother Marat Safin saved a match point in the semi-finals against Roger Federer before winning the Australian Open men's singles title in 2005, will play Jelena Dokic in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

"Maybe she was just not ready to win this match, because she had it all in the hands," Safina said when asked if it had been her experience which had seen her safely through.

"I'm just a little bit disappointed about this match, you know. Playing against this girl and allowing myself to do these kind of mistakes."

 

Zvonareva through

Vera Zvonareva beat fellow-Russian Nadia Petrova 7-5, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals.

Zvonareva won the first set when Petrova dropped her serve in the 11th game on a double-fault and then broke her immediately at the start of the second.

Zvonareva, seeded seventh at Melbourne Park this year, has not made a grand slam quarter-final since the 2003 French Open.

Her next opponent is Marion Bartoli of France, who earlier upset world number one Jelena Jankovic 6-1, 6-4.

 

Dokic defies odds

Jelena Dokic's fairytale comeback to the Australian Open continued to gain momentum when she beat Russian Alisa Kleybanova 7-5, 5-7, 8-6 in the fourth round.

The Yugoslav-born Australian, riding a wave of public support and national sympathy after her troubled past, turned back the clock to reach her first grand slam quarter-final since the 2002 French Open.

The match swung wildly back and forth as both players struggled with their serve and nerves before Dokic sealed victory when she broke Kleybanova's serve with a return winner in the 14th game of the deciding set.

Dokic's next opponent in Tuesday's quarter-finals is Russian world number three Dinara Safina, who saved two match points in her 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 win over French teenager Alize Cornet.

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