Stevenson beats Sidot, Dokic loses to former compatriot

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The Independent Online

Alexandra Stevenson swept into the third round of the DFS Classic in Birmingham, today, with a 6–3, 6–2 win over 15th–seeded Anne–Gaelle Sidot of France.

But the Wimbledon preparations of second seeded Yugoslav Jelena Dokic took a battering when she was beaten by former compatriot, Alicia Molik of Australia. Dokic, who changed her nationality before this year's Australian Open, was beaten 4–6, 6–3, 6–3 in their second round match.

Stevenson and Dokic both came to prominence at Wimbledon two years ago. Stevenson became the first qualifier ever to reach the women's semifinal, while Dokic stunned top ranked Martina Hingis 6–2, 6–0 in the first round.

While Stevenson, who dropped just one point on her own serve in the second set, will next meet top seeded Nathalie Tauziat for a place in the quarterfinal, Dokic, 18, goes to the Netherlands to look for more grass court practice.

The Yugoslav failed to build on her first–set lead and ultimately fell to the superior serving and net play of Molik.

A superb stop–volley brought Molik the decisive break point chance in the seventh game of the final set. Dokic lost her serve for the second time in succession when a loose backhand into the net closed out the game.

Dokic's father, Damir, who hit the headlines after being arrested for drunken behavior at this tournament in 1999, watched from the grandstands. His daughter now heads to the Netherlands for more grass court practice before Wimbledon.

"I had trouble with her serve and I just didn't get the chance to break," Dokic said. "I didn't play as well as I could have done and, if I had, I think I probably would have won, but I just didn't get moving.

"I've only had a day or two playing on grass and there's a lot of work to do. I'm just focusing on next week first and then trying to get through the first few rounds at Wimbledon."

Stevenson, 20, said she was not bothered by an incident with Sidot at last year's Wimbledon over unsubstantiated claims of racism on the practice court.

"When I go on court I play the ball, not the girl," the American said. "I don't know what the other girls do but that's what I do. I just go about my business and ignore everyone else. I'm friends with a few girls but it's tough on the road."

Among other second round matches, Australia's Nicole Pratt defeated third–seeded Spaniard Magui Serna 6–4, 6–2 and Tina Pisnik of Slovenia beat eleventh–seeded Meilan Tu of the United States 6–4, 1–6, 7–6 (4). Britain's Lucie Ahl saved three match points in the second set and survived a 13–11 tie break to defeat Australian Rachel McQuillan 1–6 7–6 (11) 7–6 (1).

Results from the $170,000 DFS Classic women's grass–court tournament at the Priory Club:

Singles, Second round

Alexandra Stevenson (US) def. (15) Anne–Gaelle Sidot (Fra) 6–3, 6–2.

Anastasia Myskina (Rus) def. Adriana Serra–Zanetti (Ita) 1–6, 7–6 (5), 6–3, (7).

(9) Cara Black (Zim) def. Vanessa Webb (Can) 6–4, 6–4.

Nicole Pratt (Aus) def. (3) Magui Serna (Spa) 6–4, 6–2.

(12) Kristina Brandi (US) def. Francesca Schiavone (Ita) 6–3, 2–6 6–2.

Miriam Oremans (Neth) def. Evie Dominikovic (Aus) 6–1, 6–4.

(2) Alicia Molik (Aus) def. Jelena Dokic (Yug) 4–6, 6–3, 6–3.

Daniela Hantuchova (Slovak) def. Eleni Danilidou (Gre) 6–2, 6–3.

Lucie Ahl (GB) def. Rachel McQuillan (Aus) 1–6, 7–6(11), 7–6 (1).

Tina Pisnik (Sloven) def. (11) Meilan Tu (US) 6–4, 1–6, 7–6 (4).

(6) Anne Kremer (Lux) def. Sylvia Plischke (Aut) 7–5, 6–7 (5), 6–1.

(7) Elena Likhovtseva (Rus) def. Rika Fujiwara (Jpn) 6–3, 6–2.