Relieved Federer through but Jankovic falls
Dokic defies the odds again
A roar of relief marked Roger Federer's comeback from two sets down at the Australian Open yesterday while women's world number one Jelena Jankovic was mute and ineffectual in a fourth-round defeat.
The whole of 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.
"I'm just really fighting," Dokic said. "I'm really determined and fighting. That's sometimes what keeps it going.
"I think (my coach) might have a few drinks tonight. I think I might as well," she smiled.
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 fought as hard as I could, tried to weather the storm... he pushed me to the limit," the second seed smiled courtside afterwards.
There were no good signs for Jankovic who was blown off court by French typhoon Marion Bartoli 6-1 6-4.
"When I'm on the top of my game it's very hard to beat me, because you really have to kind of spill blood if you want to win the match," Jankovic mused afterwards.
"But at the moment, I'm not there yet."
Bartoli next plays Vera Zvonareva after the seventh seed beat her 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.
Safina, whose brother Marat Safin saved a match point in the semi-finals against Roger Federer before winning the Australian Open men's singles title in 2005, will play Dokic in the quarter-finals tomorrow.
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.
Roddick's quarter-final opponent tomorrow will be defending champion Novak Djokovic. He beat 2006 runner-up Marcos Baghdatis 6-1 7-6 6-7 6-2.
Eighth seed Juan Martin del Potro clinched the first of the men's quarter-final spots with a 5-7 6-4 6-4 6-2 victory over Croatia's Marin Cilic.
The Argentine will next play Federer.