Inspired Ivanovic stuns Serena, Djokovic cruises

Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:43am EST
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By Nick Mulvenney

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - An inspired Ana Ivanovic blew the race for the Australian Open women's title wide open when she stunned overwhelming favorite Serena Williams in the fourth round at Melbourne Park on Sunday.

Novak Djokovic was for once forced to cede the spotlight to another Serbian but showed no signs of relinquishing his iron grip on the men's title and was merciless in his 6-3 6-0 6-2 flogging of Fabio Fognini.

Third seed David Ferrer also advanced to the last eight and a meeting with Tomas Berdych and his stripy football shirt, while women's fourth seed Li Na and Flavia Pennetta set up a last eight clash of 31-year-olds.

Li and Pennetta had every reason to expect their path to the final to be blocked by world number one and top seed Williams until Ivanovic secured the biggest shock of the tournament with a 4-6 6-3 6-3 victory on Rod Laver Arena.

The Serbian's victory instead sent her through to a quarter-final clash against Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard, who ended Australia's hopes of a home champion with a 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-0 win over Casey Dellacqua.

"I actually believed," said Ivanovic, whose mental toughness has been frequently questioned since her failure to back up her 2008 French Open title.

"Going on to the court today, I really just tried to give my best.

"I tried to make it a good match. I was very competitive till the last moment and I'm just very thrilled."   Continued...

Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after winning his men's singles match against Gael Monfils of France at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 18, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Reed