Dokic defies odds to reach Australian Open quarters  

Posted by: shilpz in ,

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 on Sunday.
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 a famous victory, triggering wild celebrations on the Melbourne Park Centre Court. "This is unbelievable to be in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam," Dokic said in a courtside interview.

"I was going to have the week off but I guess those plans are scratched now."
It was not a match that reached great standards, with 13 service breaks and a combined 96 unforced errors, but it was high on drama and physical and emotional pain. Dokic showed signs of exhaustion after being pushed to three sets in all three of her previous rounds and there were fears her run would end in drama when she rolled her left ankle late in the third set. However, she dusted herself off and continued fighting, roared on by an Australian public that has fallen back in love with her after she poured out her heart about her long battle with depression and troubles with now-estranged father Damir.

Family split
"I really struggled physically tonight, I was really on my last reserves," Dokic told a news conference. "She really had me in that third set. To come out and pull it out was great. "All my emotions on court, I'm really controlling them well. I'm really tough mentally. I'm really determined and fighting." Dokic began her playing career in Australia but the relationship turned sour when her family returned to Serbia in 2001 after her father accused Australian Open organisers of rigging the draw to ensure his daughter lost in the first round.

Two years later, Dokic walked out on her family and returned to Australia. Her relationship with her family has never been the same but she is trying to patch up things with Australia.

This entry was posted on Monday, January 26, 2009 and is filed under , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .


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