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Former world No.1 Jankovic beaten in battle of Serbs

Jelena Jankovic hits a backhand stroke against her First Round opponent Johanna Konta.
by Barry Newcombe
Wednesday 26 June 2013

Vesna Dolonc, the world's 97th ranked player, contributed hugely to Wimbledon's day of surprises by defeating 16th seed and fellow Serb Jelena Jankovic 7-5, 6-2 on No.1 Court.

The two sets were full of contrast  and intrigue as Dolonc recovered from 5-2 down in the first set to swing the balance and claim a great victory over 91 minutes.

"I am sure I will be more confident in my next match,’’ said Dolonc. ''To beat Jelena  was unbelievable."

Dolonc, 23, was making her fourth appearance at  Wimbledon and all too often she has qualified for the main draw of tournaments and lost in the first round. Today's win was a significant step  forward against a player as experienced  as Jankovic, who was at Wimbledon for the 10th time in singles.

Dolonc, who was born in Russia but switched to Serbia last year, did not look in contention at the start against such a heavy hitter as Jankovic but, after dropping her opening serve,  she gave an indication that she was ready for the fight by breaking back in the next.

The match continued with intensity high, nerves taut, but for a time it was Jankovic who appeared to be building a clear cut case for victory.

But after leading 5-2 and holding two set point at 5-3 which she missed with errors, Jankovic’s opponent had a new lease of life.

At 5-5, Jankovic dropped her serve to love and  Dolonc  captured the set in the next game  with a service winner after 50 minutes.

Dolonc broke serve again at the start of the second set and now it was a question of holding on to what she had in the hope of keeping Jankovic at bay.

The policy worked. Dolonc held off a break point in the second game and then resisted three more in the game where she eventually held serve for 3-1.

Jankovic, desperation mounting against such stiff opposition, could   not pick up many key points and at 4-2 behind was broken  again. Dolonc's win became a formality after that. She reached match point with a forehand winner to the corner and forced an error on the next rally for a win which takes her up against 20th seed Kirsten Flipkens  of Belgium.

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