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Superb Bartoli dumps out Jankovic

AUSTRALIAN OPEN
Venue: Melbourne Park Date: 19 January-1 February
Coverage: BBC Red Button, BBC One & Two (including all Andy Murray matches), Radio 5 Live sports extra, BBC Sport website (Red Button coverage streamed on website throughout fortnight)


Jelena Jankovic
Jankovic struggled with her serve in the Melbourne sun

Top seed Jelena Jankovic crashed out of the Australian Open after a stunning performance from French 16th seed Marion Bartoli, who won 6-1 6-4.

Bartoli took the first five games of the match to leave the Serbian reeling.

Jankovic looked dismally out of sorts despite a brief resurgence in the second set, and Bartoli reached the quarter-finals with surprising ease.

Third seed Dinara Safina saved two match points on her way to beating France's Alize Cornet 6-2 2-6 7-5.

Safina now plays unseeded Australian Jelena Dokic, who delighted the home fans with a gritty 7-5 5-7 8-6 win over Russian 29th seed Alisa Kleybanova.

Riding a wave of public support and sympathy for her troubled past, the Yugoslav-born 24-year-old reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final since the 2002 French Open.

The match swung wildly 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.

Bartoli showed incredible movement and determination to destroy Jankovic's chances of a second appearance in the Australian Open's last eight.

The French 24-year-old has never previously made it past the second round of the tournament, but she feasted on Jankovic's uncertain second serve in a one-sided encounter on the Rod Laver Arena.

Bartoli broke five times as the Serbian, 23, battled both her own inconsistency and the glare of the Melbourne sun.

Jankovic's second set was a vast improvement on the first, but her game continued to exhibit unforgivable unforced errors.

When Bartoli eventually broke again in a testing ninth game of the second set, the last vestiges of Jankovic's resistance crumbled.

I tried not to think about Jelena being the world number one for the whole match

Marion Bartoli

"I tried not to think about Jelena being the world number one for the whole match," said Bartoli.

"I think I just played amazingly today and I'm so happy to put on a good performance.

"I knew Jelena would fight and the last set was really tough for me, but I tried to play my game and I served so well in the last game."

Jankovic, meanwhile, said she had become "lost in the match" and allowed Bartoli to dominate.

"I let her hit all the shots that she wanted to. I let her play her game," said Jankovic.

"I didn't do what I was supposed to do, and I couldn't get my rhythm out there.

"She hit whatever she could. Her goal was just to get the first strike and go for it, because she knew if I got in the point she'd be in trouble."

French 15th seed Cornet surrendered a double break in the final set and two match points as volatile Safina somehow recovered to take the win.

Somebody needs to smack me so hard in my head that something finally shakes and I put the cables together

Dinara Safina

The Russian appeared certain to follow Jankovic, Venus Williams and Ana Ivanovic out of the tournament when Cornet was serving for the match at 5-4 and 40-15, but she somehow dug herself out of trouble.

Three games later Safina was raising her arms in triumph as Cornet slumped in a chair in tears.

"I feel so lucky that I have the chance to play in the quarter-finals," said Safina.

"I think in the next round I need to relax for me and my team - I think they nearly had heart attacks watching me.

"The problem is that I'm doubting myself because I'm not playing the game I used to play," she added.

"Somebody needs to smack me so hard in my head that something finally shakes and I put the cables together."

In an all-Russian duel, seventh seed Vera Zvonareva set up a quarter-final against Bartoli with a 7-5 6-4 victory over 10th seed Nadia Petrova.

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



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