Davenport Escapes Upset to Meet Sharapova at Australian Open

Posted on January 14, 2008

There were only two low-level upsets, but plenty of drama Monday at the Australian Open as Jelena Jankovic and Lindsay Davenport escaped upset bids by opponents.

Jankovic fought off multiple match points to top Tamira Paszek 2-6, 6-2, 12-10, while Davenport came back from a break in the third set to defeat Italy's Sara Errani 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 to set up a second-round meeting with Maria Sharapova.

"I was just trying to stay positive somehow and I found a way to win," said Jankovic who is struggling with multiple injuries. "It was unbelievable, when I was down those match points, and I was really in some tough points, and I was maybe lucky a few times. But overall, a win is a win."

In seeded upsets, Japan's Ai Sugiyama won when No. 23 Vera Zvonareva retired with injury, and Elena Vesnina outlasted No. 32 seed Julia Vakulenko 6-1 in the third.

No. 7 seed and defending champ Serena Williams opened the proceedings Monday, overcoming some spotty mental play and fashion faux pas purple stretch pants to beat Jarmila Gajdosova 6-3, 6-3.

"I think everyone could probably tell I was a little scratchy," said Williams, who jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first set, but then lost the next three games as her steely facade melted in fits of screaming and facial contortions. "But it's the first round. Just moving forward."

Other Top 10 seeds advancing were (1) Justine Henin (d. Aiko Nakamura) and (5) Maria Sharapova (d. Jelena Kostanic Tosic), both in straight sets.

Struggling through three-set wins were No. 13 Tatiana Golovin topping Stephanie Cohen Aloro 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, No. 18 Amelie Mauresmo coming back to trounce Tatiana Poutchek 6-7(6), 6-0, 6-0, and No. 19 Sybille Bammer outlasting Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2.

Tuesday's highlights include Nathalie Dechy vs. (2) Svetlana Kuznetsova, (8) Venus Williams vs. China's Zi Yan, Vania King vs. (9) Daniela Hantuchova, the struggling (14) Nadia Petrova vs. Aussie Nicole Pratt, and Meilen Tu vs. (27) Maria Kirilenko.