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Jankovic escapes upset at Australian Open

Jan. 14, 2008 at 9:13 AM   |   Comments

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MELBOURNE, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Third-seeded Jelena Jankovic fought off several match points before claiming a tough first-round victory Monday at the Australian Open.

While top-seeded Justine Henin and defending champion Serena Williams cruised through their Grand Slam matches of 2008, Jankovic barely escaped being the year's first major tournament upset victim.

Jankovic and Tamira Paszek split the first two sets -- each winning 6-2 -- but the third set turned epic and lasted nearly two hours. Paszek served at 7-6 in the third set but Jankovic broke her serve. She eventually took the set at 12-10.

Henin had no trouble dispatching Aiko Nakamura 6-2, 6-2, using seven aces in running her personal match winning streak to 29. Williams, seeded seventh, needed just 62 minutes to finish off Jarmila Gajdosova 6-3, 6-3.

Also Monday, fifth-seeded Maria Sharapova, who lost to Williams in last year's Australian Open final, swept Kostanic Tosic 6-4, 6-3. Lindsay Davenport, who missed last year's tournament due to pregnancy, ran her record to 19-1 since returning to play with a 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 win over Sara Errani. Sharapova and Davenport are paired against each other in the second round.

No. 11-seeded Elena Dementieva stopped Tzipora Obziler 6-2, 6-2; 13th-seeded Tatiana Golovin beat Stephania Cohen-Aloro 6-1, 4-6, 6-3; 15th-seeded Patty Schnyder defeated Lilia Osterloh 6-3, 6-3 and No. 17-seeded Shahar Peer beat Renata Voracova 6-2, 2-6, 6-0. Also Amelie Mauresmo, won who the Australian Open in 2006 posted a 6-7 (6-8), 6-0, 6-0 win over Tatiana Poutchek.

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