Lawn Tennis, Australian Open, Lawn Tennis Magazine
Top Ranked Jelena Jankovic Shocked By Marion Bartoli

By Tripp Mateschitz, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Saturday, January 24, 2009 6:20pm PST USA
Top Ranked Jelena Jankovic Shocked By Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli, Australian Open, Lawn Tennis Magazine MELBOURNE--( Tennis legend Monica Seles of the USA retired in 2003, but it was Seles all over again as Marion Bartoli of France used Seles-like twohanded groundstrokes to upset the world number one Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-1, 6-4 at the Australian Open round of sixteen.

Bartoli raced to a 5-0 first set lead behind powerful laserlike aggressive groundstrokes and angles which oftentimes kept Jankovic on the run. Bartoli then reached her first set point, but netted a return as Jankovic held serve to pull to 5-1.

On setpoint number two, Bartoli doublefaulted but then quickly corrected herself as she would hold serve with a backhand dropshot winner down the line to take the set 6-1.

In set two, Bartoli drew first blood as she broke Jankovic's serve to go ahead 2-1 as Jankovic doublefaulted. Jankovic however would mix up her game with two slice groundstrokes and then a backhand down the line winner to break back to pull even at 2-2.

At 3 all, Bartoli turned up the pressure as an overpowering Bartoli forehand return down the line would force a Jankovic forehand slice to sail wide for the break of serve to reach 4-3.

Jelena Jankovic of Serbia | Image: AP
Australian Open, Melbourne, Australia, Lawn Tennis Magazine
“It was my first time in Rod Laver Arena,” Bartoli said. “I think I just played amazing today."

Jankovic mounted a brief regroup as her backhand winner down the line and her backhand winner crosscourt led to her break of serve to pull even once again at 4 all.

With Jankovic serving, Bartoli's extreme Seles-like return of serves continued as Bartoli would reach 30-40. Bartoli pounced upon timid serving from Jankovic and survived a six deuce game to break serve to reach 5-4 behind two backhand winners, the last of which was a huge backhand crosscourt return winner.

Seles won the Australian Open in 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1996 and could have been proud had she seen another twohander wowing the Melbourne crowd on Sunday.

In the final game of the match, Bartoli reached 15-0 after a Jankovic backhand floated just long. Jankovic requested to challenge the call but had used her last challenge earlier in the set at 2-3.

Bartoli scored her first matchpoint after striking an ace and after another Jankovic backhand would land long. And after doublefaulting, Bartolli, reentered Seles mode as she whipped a final twohanded forehand down the line for a winner to close the match 6-1, 6-4.

Bartoli screamed and raised both arms in delight after the point. Then as she blew kisses and waved to the equally delighted Melbourne crowd, Bartoli was serenaded with loud applause and whistles.

Jankovic came under criticism last year after she reached the top ranking as she is the only top ranked WTA Tour player never to win a singles grand slam title.

Bartoli aged 24 and ranked 17th, is known for her unorthodox but very powerful two handed forehand and backhands which were inspired by Seles.

The Frenchwoman may also be remembered for reaching the 2007 Wimbledon singles final. In route to the final, Bartoli had upset Jankovic, Shahar Peer of Israel and the then world number one Justine Henin of Belgium.

“It was my first time in Rod Laver Arena,” Bartoli said. “I think I just played amazing today. The last game of the match she was really tough. I served so well the last game and I'm so happy. I'm just so happy about today.”

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