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1999 Wimbledon

Sweet 16

Young Dokic quickly making a name for herself

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Posted: Tuesday June 22, 1999 09:17 PM

  Martina Hingis is the fourth top-20 player that Jelena Dokic has beaten this year. AP

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- Remember this name: Jelena Dokic.

Casual tennis fans may not know her, but this 16-year-old qualifier can play.

On Tuesday, she rocked Wimbledon with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over No. 1 Martina Hingis in one of the great upsets in tournament history.

"I still can't believe I've beaten her," Dokic said.

The world's top junior last year and the defending U.S. Open junior champion, Dokic had already beaten three top-20 players this year. Among them was Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, the winner of four Grand Slams.

Hingis became No. 4. She also became only the third top-seeded woman in Wimbledon history to lose her opening match.

True, Dokic entered Wimbledon as a qualifier, but only because at 16 she's limited by the WTA Tour to 10 tournaments and four Grand Slams.

True, she's ranked only No. 129 but next week she'll soar into the top 50. And the top 10 can't be far off.

Dokic (pronounced DAH-kick) lives in Sydney, Australia, emigrating in 1994 with her family from war-torn Yugoslavia. She turned professional late last year and is coached by her father, Damir, and former professional Wally Masur.

Her father made headlines a few weeks ago when he was ejected from a grass-court match in Birmingham, England, for abusing officials. Outside the grounds he was arrested -- and later released -- for stopping traffic and throwing himself on the hood of a passing car.

Warned he'd be under surveillance at Wimbledon, he watched Tuesday in near silence as his daughter routed Hingis.

Dokic forced Hingis to stay deep and delivered an assortment of two-handed backhands, searing forehands and deft drop shots.

Dokic, who is 5-foot-6 and athletic and quick, won 11 straight games in one stretch. Up 4-0 in the second set and waiting for a dispirited Hingis to serve the fifth, she bobbed up and down at the baseline like a boxer warming up.

"Just because I beat Hingis, doesn't mean I have to come out and win the tournament now. ... I have to keep my feet on the ground," she said.

Five months ago in the Australian Open, Hingis brushed off Dokic 6-1, 6-2 in the third round. In the French Open, Dokic was ousted in the first round.

The magnitude of Tuesday's upset even got to her boisterous father.

Asked what he said to her afterward, she replied, "He was out of words."


 
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Qualifier Dokic crushes No. 1 Hingis at Wimbledon
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