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.
20:24...But boy, it was a barrow-load of fun. I hope you enjoyed it even half as much as we did. Thank you for all your messages throughout, you've been the glue holding us together as the edges frayed amid the madness. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for us Brits to raise a toast to Andy Murray and Fred Perry. British sporting legends both.
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