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Serb & folly

sports Updated: Jun 26, 2008 16:39 IST

Former world number one Marat Safin sent third seed Novak Djokovic crashing out of Wimbledon on Wednesday while Serbian compatriot Ana Ivanovic narrowly escaped falling into the same All England Club black hole.

Safin, a US Open and Australian Open champion during his glory days before a slump in form sent his ranking into freefall, stunned the 21-year-old world number three 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), 6-2 with a magical Centre Court display. Over on Court One, women's top seed Ivanovic, buoyed by her breakthrough French Open triumph, had to save two match points to see off France's experienced Nathalie Dechy 6-7 (2/7), 7-6 (7/3), 10-8.

Reigning Australian Open Djokovic, who had reached the third round at least in his last nine Grand Slam appearances and was runner-up to Rafael Nadal at Queen's two weeks ago, sent down 10 double faults and 28 unforced errors. "It was a very bad day for me. I didn't do anything I was supposed to do. I made too many mistakes and had no momentum," said Djokovic, a semi-finalist here last year.”

Paes-Dlouhy, Bops-Qureshi advance

Leander Paes and his Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy had to dig deep into their reserves to countervail a spirited challenge from local favourites James Auckland and Jamie Delgado and advance to the men's doubles second round. The ninth seeded Indo-Czech pair won 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in first-round. Rohan Bopanna and his Pakistani partner Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi beat 10th seeded Polish pair of Mariusz Fyrstenbeg and Marcin Matkowski 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 in the first-round.