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Serbians march into quarterfinals

sports Updated: Jun 02, 2008 10:34 IST

Agencies
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Nursing a sore shoulder, one of Serbia’s 'Goodwill Army', Jelena Jankovic, won one point with broken strings, another after falling down and the last one despite blowing a big lead.

Ana Ivanovic had a much easier time, winning every game. And when the tennis turned tense for Novak Djokovic, he defiantly pounded his chest and whacked winners. In succession, the Serbs advanced on Sunday to the quarterfinals at the French Open. The No 3-seeded Jankovic twice received treatment on her shoulder, lost four consecutive games after reaching match point and still managed to beat No 14 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 7-6 (3).

The No 2-seeded Ivanovic returned to the quarterfinals with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Petra Cetkovska. Djokovic twice overcame love-40 deficits to hold serve, banging his chest with his fist the second time, and beat No. 18 Paul Henri-Mathieu 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.

Seeded third, Djokovic will next play 19-year-old Ernests Gulbis of Latvia, who reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal by beating Michael Llodra 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-3. The two women who upset the Williams sisters on Friday were eliminated in their next match. No. 27-seeded Katarina Srebotnik, who had beaten Serena Williams, lost to No. 10 Patty Schnyder 6-2, 6-4. No. 26 Flavia Pennetta, who ousted Venus Williams, lost to qualifier Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 6-2.

Jankovic and Ivanovic are one round from an all-Serb showdown in the semifinals. But health issues put Jankovic's prospects in doubt. She blamed her shoulder pain on a recent bout of swelling in her right forearm. Leading 2-1 in the second set, she called for treatment and winced as a trainer massaged her shoulder near her neck. Some of her shots lacked their usual punch thereafter, but Jankovic built a 5-2 lead thanks to some shaky play by Radwanska.

Serving in the next game, Jankovic reached match point three times but failed to hold, and Radwanska took advantage of the reprieve to mount a comeback.

Paes, Dlouhy crash out

Leander Paes and his Czech Partner Lukas Dlouhy crashed out of the doubles competition losing to Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay and Luis Horna of Peru 4-6, 4-6 in the pre-quarterfinals.

Nothing went right for the ninth seeded Indo-Czech duo and they were rusty throughout the 64-minute contest. They were second best in serve and could not hold on their own in the rallies. On top of that, they had double faults at crucial points.

Their unseeded opponents got as many as 11 break points in the match, though converted only three of them. But for saving eight break points by Paes and Dlouhy, the match would have been finished even quicker and scoreline much worse for the Indo-Czech pair.