Jelena Dokic Tour Results: Interviews and Articles

Sarasota Clay Court Classic 2003
Meadows Country Club in Sarasota, Florida, USA
01 April, 2003

Paola Suarez / Jelena Dokic (1), 6-3, 6-3.
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heraldtribune.com: Southwest Florida's Information Leader


      Defending champion eliminated
      Jelena Dokic bounced in first round by Paola Suarez in straight sets

      By TOM BALOG
      tom.balog@heraldtribune.com


      SARASOTA -- If ever a No. 1 seed and defending champion was set up for a 
      quick fall, it was Jelena Dokic Tuesday in the Sarasota Clay Court Classic.

      Paola Suarez was the perfect opponent and the timing of their match was 
      equally fortuitous for transforming the event's reigning champion into an 
      upset victim.

      Before Dokic had any time to make the transition of surfaces, from hard 
      courts to her first clay event of the season, Suarez methodically bounced 
      her from the $140,000 tournament in straight sets. 

      The 26-year-old Suarez tapped into her lifelong experience on clay courts 
      dating back to her youth in Argentina to frustrate Dokic, 6-3, 6-3 Tuesday 
      in an opening round match at The Meadows Country Club.

      The other finalist from last year's Sarasota tournament, eighth-seeded 
      Tatiana Panova of Russia, also lost, 6-3, 7-5 to Iroda Tulyaganova of 
      Uzbekistan.

      That clears the way for Suarez (ranked 29th) and No. 2 seed Anastasia 
      Myskina of Russia (ranked 11th) to seize the favorite roles with three 
      rounds remaining before Sunday's final. 

      Myskina had an easy time with Emilie Loit of France, 6-0, 6-3.

      Dokic, the 19-year- old from Yugoslavia who is ranked 10th in the latest 
      WTA rankings, blamed her demise on not enough practice time on a clay 
      surface, after reaching the quarterfinals last week in Miami.

      "I was just not used to the clay," Dokic said. "I'm disappointed. But I 
      only had two days of practice on clay. Last year I practiced two weeks on 
      clay and that makes a difference. I just didn't feel comfortable moving, 
      hitting, nothing. It was just not there. Too many errors." 

      "Clay is my favorite surface,'' Suarez said. "And being the first 
      tournament on clay, it's going to be a little bit difficult for all the 
      hard (court) players to try to get (adjusted) on clay."

      Dokic was down 4-0 in the second set, and her game was reduced to 
      desperation.

      "I got to the stage where I was just trying to get the ball in and make 
      her play a little bit,'' Dokic said. "Which is not the way you want to 
      play a match. That's what you don't want in your first match on clay is 
      someone who gets a lot of balls in."


      However, Dokic did rally to win three straight games to make the second 
      set competitive, at least temporarily.

      "I couldn't get a ball in, so I just thought I would hit and see what 
      happens,'' Dokic said. "She made some errors and I came back. I still had 
      40-15 and 40-love in the last games, which I didn't win, which shouldn't 
      happen."

      Dokic broke Suarez's serve, but then Suarez broke Dokic right back.

      "The match was a little bit strange,'' Suarez said. "Too much up and down, 
      both players."


      Dokic had ample opportunity to recover and win the set, with two triple 
      break points, before losing. Trailing 5-3, she was up 40-15 and squandered 
      three chances to put the game away.

      "I gave her two free points in each game," Dokic said.

      Myskina was just thrilled to have won an opening round match after losing 
      opening matches in her previous two tournaments at Indian Wells (Cailf.) 
      and Miami.

      "I was really depressed the last couple weeks and almost quit with 
      tennis,'' Myskina said. "I was nervous really bad before (the match). My 
      confidence came back after a couple of games. Everything was strong today 
      except (my) serve. I think Russians all have a problem with serves, so 
      it's kind of a Russian thing."


      Myskina will face the winner of today's match between her two fellow 
      Russians, her friend Elena Likhovtseva (30th in the world) and Nadia 
      Petrova (109th).

      Suarez faces Slovakian Maja Matevzic, who defeated Jennifer Hopkins, 7-6 
      (7-0), 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) Tuesday.

      In the other early match of note, Conchita Martinez (25th ) knocked off Ai 
      Sugiyama (17th) 6-2, 7-5.


      Last modified: April 02. 2003 3:33AM


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The interview article quoted from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune website. - http://www.heraldtribune.com/

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