Paris, 9 February 2011 |

Jelena Dokic has backed up her impressive qualifying form with an opening round main draw win at the Paris Open over dual finalist Luce Safarova.

A determined Dokic fought back from a set down to overcome the Czech world No.30, 4-6 6-3 6-4.

“I had nothing to lose. I just kept fighting and kept my level high from midway through the second set,” Dokic said. “I got a little tired in the third set but I was pleased how I responded physically, as she is a very fit player. I also played a left-hander in my last qualifying match so I was already used to this. We don’t play lefties regularly.”

The win is a milestone of sorts for the Australian – it’s her first win over a top 30 player since her memorable Australian Open 2009 campaign when she accounted for Great Dane Caroline Wozniacki and former top 10 Russian Anna Chakvetadze.

After the match, Dokic said that playing the qualifying event helped her preparation for the main draw.

“I think playing three matches in qualies helped today. I was already feeling the ball well, but I have played a lot fewer matches than these girls in the past two years. I still have things I’d like to work on.”

Dokic’s next assignment is against either French wildcard Virginie Razzano or Russia’s Nadia Petrova. If Dokic can get through that match, she may well find herself in a quarterfinal with reigning Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters, provided the Belgian can account for Germany’s Kristina Barrois in her second-round clash.