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banner Tuesday, 22 January, 2002, 17:51 GMT
Let's all do the Bjorkman
Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman celebrates
Bjorkman played two of the tournament's best shots
When Jonas Bjorkman decided to turn on the style during his Australian Open quarter-final against Thomas Johansson, he should have displayed a sign saying "don't try this at home".

Bjorkman's outrageous through-the-legs lob as he chased a seemingly lost cause left his opponent dumbstruck and brought the crowd in the Rod Laver Arena to their feet.

It is sure to lead to a spate of copycat attempts on tennis courts all over the world - and, no doubt, a few rather nasty injuries.

The Swede produced his magic moment when the match was finely poised at one set all, with his countryman 1-0 up in the third.

Chile's Marcelo Rios salutes the crowd
Rios produced a carbon copy of Bjorkman's shot
He looked beaten when Johansson guided the ball down the line and moved in to cover the net.

But Bjorkman threw his racquet at the ball as he ran towards the back of the court, sending it up over Johansson's head for an amazing winner.

Johansson eventually had the last laugh when he triumphed 6-0 2-6 6-3 6-4 to reach the semi-finals.

Bjorkman admits he used to be a fan of flamboyant Frenchman Yannick Noah, and it is easy to see why.

But his so-called "hotdog" shot was just one of a string of beauties witnessed so far during the tournament.

Big hitting

Bjorkman had already produced another contender during his straight-sets defeat of Britain's Tim Henman in the previous round.

Henman looked certain to win the second set tie-break when he unleashed a powerful smash at the end of a great rally.

But Bjorkman stuck out his racquet and somehow came up with an incredible passing shot.

Monica Seles fires in a backhand against Venus Williams
Seles matched Venus Williams hit for hit
Marcelo Rios played almost a carbon copy of the Bjorkman special in the first set of his fourth-round match against Nicolas Lapentti.

He followed it up a few games later by chasing down a lob and hitting a spectacular passing shot with his back to the net.

Monica Seles also deserves a mention after her three-set victory over number two seed Venus Williams.

Seles decided to copy her opponent's big hitting approach and was rewarded with a place in the semi-finals.

Her best shot came two points from the end of the match.

A lengthy rally got harder by the shot and finally ended with a winner from Seles which screamed past Williams on the baseline.

Links to more Australian Open stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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