Wimbledon: Marat Safin Upsets Novak Djokovic, Ana Ivanovic Barely Stays Alive

Dusan VuksanovicCorrespondent IJune 25, 2008

Novak Djokovic is out of Wimbledon!

On a bright and sunny day in London, world’s No. 3 got a cold shower from former world No. 1 Marat Safin in three sets—6-4, 7-6 (3), 6-2.

The Russian took just over two hours to bring the Serbian down on his knees, who wasn’t even close to his previous games at Roland Garros and Queens.

Serving was the weakest link in Djokovic’s play, as he only managed to get 12 points on his second serve compared to Safin’s 24. Furthermore, the Serb double-faulted 10 times, while Safin only recorded three.

However, Djokovic’s No.3 position won’t be jeopardized. The closest player left in the tournament, No. 5 David Ferrer, is trailing behind Djokovic by 2355 points.

Marat Safin, who has never played beyond quarter-finals at Wimbledon, will meet Italy’s Andreas Seppi in the third round. The No. 29-seeded  Italian had a hard time defeating the Frenchman Florent Serra 3-2 (6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-7 (5), 4-6).

A second shocker almost came from France’s Nathalie Dechy, who, although ranked 97th in the world, played the game of her life against No. 1 Ana Ivanovic.

Ivanovic won the game in a nail-biting finish 2-1 (6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 10-8), but was on the verge of defeat in the second set.

With the result 5-4 and 15-40, Ivanovic somehow managed to save two match points. On the second match point, she hit a forehand, and the ball barely rolled over to Dechy’s side, keeping the 20-year-old Serb alive in the game.

Ivanovic then leveled the score to 5-5, took the set into tie break, and won it easily 7-3.

The third set, which lasted 83 minutes, made both players work their best for every point. However, Ivanovic proved to be fitter, and sealed the three and a half hour marathon with a 10-8 score in the final set.

This was the longest match Ivanovic had played in her career.

Ivanovic, who was in the semifinals last year, will meet China’s Jie Zheng in the third round. Zheng is currently ranked 133rd on the WTA list, and has played Ivanovic only in 2006 in Montreal. The Serb won that game 2-1.