Kuala Lumpur, 1 March 2011 | AAP
Update 12:40 pm. Australian Jelena Dokic has claimed her first victory over a top-five player in eight years, downing French Open champion Francesca Schiavone at the Malaysian Open.
Dokic, 27, came back from a slow start to oust the Italian – who beat Samantha Stosur in last year’s French Open decider – 2-6 7-6(1) 6-4.
It was the first time Dokic had beaten a top five player since she downed then world No.1 Kim Clijsters in Zurich in 2003.
Dokic, the world No.91, had also beaten world No.5 Schiavone in their two previous encounters, although that was a decade ago.
“I already had a good tournament this year in Paris, I beat a top 20 and top 25 player there,” Dokic told the WTA website.
“I had tough draws in Dubai and Doha and again here, so this is a big win for me.
“I’m still not as consistent as I want to be – there are still some weeks where I don’t play up to my high standard.
“But this year I’m playing WTA events every week and it’s making a difference.
“Thank God, no injuries … my body is great and hopefully it will stay that way.”
Schiavone fell during the second-set tiebreak and took a medical time-out for treatment on her right ankle.
Games went on serve early in the final set, but once Dokic broke for 3-2 she was able to power away for the win.
“Sometimes when you see your opponent get injured you have to be a lot more focused so you don’t drop your level,” said Dokic.
“You can’t think that she will not play well. She went for some risky shots early in the rally, so I had to be ready for that.”
Schiavone said she respected the fact that people came to watch, so she hated to retire mid-match.
“Maybe sometimes I shouldn’t think like this, because I think it made it worse,” said the Italian.
“But the fans helped me to keep going.
“They appreciate the way that I play, and I want to come back and do better.
“Tonight Jelena fought and she deserved it.”
In other action on Monday night, No.5 seed Lucie Safarova from the Czech Republic beat Kazakh teenager Zarina Diyas 7-5 6-1 and No.6 Ayumi Morita from Japan breezed past Belarussian Darya Kustova 6-2 6-0.