Dokic continues dream run into Australian Open quarter-finals

January 25th, 2009 - 11:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Jan 25 (DPA) New tennis heroine Jelena Dokic reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final since 2002 Sunday, fighting through to eliminate Russian Alisa Kleybanova from the Australian Open, 7-5, 5-7, 8-6.Dokic, a one-time world number four before her fall from the summit due to family problems, will return to the Top 100 after a fourth-round victory which only enhanced the Cinderella story of the fortnight.

The last time Dokic achieved such success was a Roland Garros last-eight place seven years ago.

Dokic went down a break in the final set against the Russian but somehow managed to snatch victory.

“I always knew it was going to be tough,” she said. “I was really exhausted physically but I kept on fighting. The crowd was amazing in the third set.

“It was hard to stay positive in the third after going down a break. But I fought hard and it paid off.”

Serbia-born Dokic, who has a chequered history with her adopted nation of Australia, entered the event after winning a wild card playoff in December.

She has already paid back organisers in a huge way.

“I wanted to put in a good first-round performance, that was all,” said the 25-year-old. “That was my goal for the tournament.

“It’s just unbelievable to be in the quarters of a Grand Slam again.”

Dokic confessed: “I was going to have a week off, but those plans are scratched now. It’s great to have done so much in the tournament. This is just amazing.”

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