Ivanovic upset, Jankovic advances

Updated: January 23, 2009, 4:49 PM ET
Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Ana Ivanovic's hopes of a return trip to the Australian Open final fell apart amid a barrage of mistakes Friday as Russia's Alisa Kleybanova ousted the 2008 runner-up with a 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-2 victory in the third round.

[+] EnlargeAna Ivanovic
Paul Crock/AFP/Getty ImagesAna Ivanovic lost her serve nine times and made 50 unforced errors in her loss to Alisa Kleybanova on Friday.
With the 19-year-old Kleybanova constantly aggressive, fifth-ranked Ivanovic lost her serve nine times and finished with 50 unforced errors to just 23 winners.

When it was over, Kleybanova dropped to the ground on both knees, pumped her fists and blew kisses to the crowd. Ivanovic appeared to be nearly in tears as she walked off court, throwing a towel to someone in the crowd.

The Serb's loss came on a day that ethnic violence erupted between nationalist fans after Serbia's Novak Djokovic, the defending men's champion, beat Bosnian-born American Amer Delic.

One of several thrown chairs hit a woman and left her briefly unconscious. Insults and water bottles filled the air. Arrests were made, with dozens of people ejected from Melbourne Park.

While Ivanovic faltered, fellow Serb and No. 1 seed Jelena Jankovic advanced to the fourth round with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Japan's Ai Sugiyama.

With the victory Friday, Jankovic set up a match with 16th-seeded Marion Bartoli of France.

[+] EnlargeAlisa Kleybanova
Lucas Dawson/Getty ImagesAlisa Kleybanova was elated at her upset win over Ivanovic.
After dropping the first set, the 21-year-old Ivanovic lost her first two service games in the second, falling behind 0-3. She rallied to force a tiebreaker, where both women were pumping their fists after every point they won. Ivanovic did a three-punch combination after whacking an overhead winner on set point.

The jubilation was short-lived: Ivanovic found herself again down 0-3 in the deciding set and never caught up. Serving at 2-5, she fell behind 0-40. She saved one match point with a high, lunging volley winner before Kleybanova hit a forehand crosscourt that went untouched to end the match in 2 hours, 43 minutes.

Kleybanova, who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon last year in her third Grand Slam, dropped to her knees in relief and disbelief.

Olympic silver medalist Dinara Safina reached the fourth round for the first time in seven trips to the Australian Open with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Kaia Kanepi of Estonia.

The 22-year-old Russian took 4-1 leads in each set and ousted the 25th-seeded Kanepi in 66 minutes.

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

[+] EnlargeDinara Safina
William West/Getty ImagesThird seed Dinara Safina reached the fourth round for the first time in seven trips to the Australian Open.

"Actually, I'm glad I won very comfortable today," she said.

She broke into the top 10 last year for the first time and credits having a full-time coach and trainer for her improvement.

Safina, the third seed, has yet to win a Grand Slam singles title, although she reached the French Open final last year before losing to Ivanovic.

She also lost the Olympic gold-medal match to fellow Russian Elena Dementieva -- an outcome repeated last week in the Sydney International final.

Fellow Russians Vera Zvonareva and Nadia Petrova are also in the fourth round.

No. 7 Zvonareva beat Italy's Sara Errani 6-4, 6-1, and No. 10 Petrova advanced when Kazakhstan's Galina Voskoboeva retired because of back pain after losing the first set 6-1.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press