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Stretched to the limit

A roar of relief marked Roger Federer’s comeback from two sets down at the Australian Open while women’s world number one Jelena Jankovic was mute and ineffectual in her fourth-round defeat.

sports Updated: Jan 26, 2009 01:05 IST

A roar of relief marked Roger Federer’s comeback from two sets down at the Australian Open on Sunday while women’s world number one Jelena Jankovic was mute and ineffectual in her fourth-round defeat.

Melbourne Park shook with an explosion of home-town roars, however, when Yugoslav-born Australian wildcard Jelena Dokic buried years of personal pain to reach the quarter-finals of the first grand slam of the year.

The 25-year-old, whose split from domineering father Damir and subsequent struggle with severe depression and injuries was played out in front of the world’s media, wiped tears from her eyes after her 7-5, 5-7, 8-6 win over Russian Alisa Kleybanova.

Swiss Federer dug himself out of deep trouble against Czech Tomas Berdych, prevailing 4-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 to keep alive his hopes of a record-equalling 14th grand slam crown.

“I enjoy those kind of fights because they don’t happen very often. I am still in great shape, feel like I could play another couple of sets so that’s a good sign,” Federer said. He next meets Juan Martin del Potro.

There were no good signs for Jankovic who was blown off court by French typhoon Marion Bartoli 6-1, 6-4. Bartoli next plays Vera Zvonareva after the seventh seed beat 10th-seeded fellow Russian Nadia Petrova 7-5, 6-4.

Bartoli’s Gallic good fortune almost continued on centre court when France’s Alize Cornet was poised for victory over third-seeded Russian Dinara Safina, but Cornet melted in the sun.

She twice failed to serve out the match and squandered two match points in the 10th game as Safina turned up the heat to snatch victory.

Men’s seventh seed Andy Roddick needed nobody to knock sense into him, with the American in superb form as he beat Tommy Robredo 7-5, 6-1, 6-3. His quarter-final opponent on Tuesday will be defending champion Novak Djokovic, who beat Marcos Baghdatis 6-1, 7-6, 6-7, 6-2 in a match completed at 2.26 a.m. local time.

Sania-Bhupathi advance

India had a fruitful day at the Australian Open as Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi stormed into the quarterfinals while top seeds Leander Paes and Zimbabwean Cara Black advanced to the second round of the mixed doubles here.

But, among juniors, only Yuki Bhambri found success, that too after a lot of hard work, while Ronak Manuja and Rushmi Teltumbde were knocked out in the first round. The unseeded Sania-Bhupathi pair thrashed the Australian duo of Anastasia Rodionova and Stephen Huss 6-1, 6-2. They will next face winners of the match between the Canadian pair of Aleksandra Wozniak and Daniel Nestor and second seeded Chinese-Bahamian duo of Zi Yan and Mark Knowles. The top seeded Paes-Black pair beat Serbian duo of Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Nenad Zimonjic to carve out a 6-4, 4-6, 10-7 win in the first round.