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Anderson stuns Djokovic

Anderson, 21, notched the biggest win of his career - his first over a top-10 player.

sports Updated: Mar 29, 2008 18:48 IST

South African qualifier Kevin Anderson sent defending champion Novak Djokovic packing on Friday, ending the third-seeded Serbian's bid for a second straight ATP Masters Series title.

Anderson, ranked 122nd in the world, defeated the world number three and reigning Australian Open champion 7-6 (7/1), 3-6, 6-4 in a second-round match at the 7.54 million-dollar Sony Ericsson Open, which features both the prestigious ATP Masters Series draw and a WTA tournament.

One of the 32 seeded players to enjoy a first-round bye, Djokovic was launching his title defense fresh from claiming the first Masters Series title of the season at Indian Wells on Sunday.

Anderson, 21, notched the biggest win of his career - his first over a top-10 player.

The South African newcomer to the ATP circuit had already shown he was on form this season.

He reached the final of the ATP event in Las Vegas earlier this month, where he fell to American Sam Querrey. Prior to that run, Anderson had lost the only two ATP matches he had ever played.

Djokovic, 20, defeated Argentinian Guillermo Canas in the championship match here last year, becoming the youngest player in the 23-year history of the tournament to take the title.

Surprised in the first set by Anderson, Djokovic responded in the second, and broke early in the third to take a 2-0 lead.

But in the following game, Djokovic appeared rattled by a time violation warning while preparing to serve at 40-all.

He was broken, and broken again at love in his next service game.

Anderson made the most of his advantage, finishing off the contest on his third match point.

In other second-round men's matches on Friday, second-seeded Rafael Nadal took on German qualifier Benjamin Becker.

Nadal, who fell to Djokovic in the semi-finals at Indian Wells at the weekend, is seeking his first title of 2008.

Seventh-seeded David Nalbandian of Argentina and number eight seed Richard Gasquet of France were also in action.

In women's play, top-seeded Belgian Justine Henin and defending champion Serena Williams moved smoothly into the third round.

Henin, runner-up to Williams here last year, defeated Germany's Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-2, while Williams, the eighth seed, beat Romanian Edina Gallovits 6-1, 6-2.