Nalbandian knocked out

Yen-Hsun Lu had barely walked off the court on Wednesday when his mobile phone started ringing.

Written by Associated Press | Melbourne | Published:January 22, 2009 11:54 pm

Yen-Hsun Lu had barely walked off the court on Wednesday when his mobile phone started ringing. “I picked up the phone and my friends were calling to congratulate me,” Lu said.

His friends back in Taiwan had good reason to be excited. Lu,whose previous biggest win was a first-round upset of Britain’s Andy Murray at last year’s Beijing Olympics,pulled off a marathon upset of 10th-seeded David Nalbandian in the second round at the Australian Open. Lu won 6-4,5-7,4-6,6-4,6-2 in a match just short of four hours,marking the first time in 12 Grand Slams that he has advanced past the second round.

He persevered through a 10-minute final game when he fought off six break points,but he had a strategy — reverse psychology.

“Everybody knows Nalbandian is one of the best backhand players,” Lu said. “So I thought he’s ready for a forehand return. So I just changed my mind and went to his backhand all the time.

Federer v Safin

Roger Federer and Marat Safin rolled to easy victories against first-time opponents to reach the third round,where the familiarity factor will be much higher: They’ll be playing each other. “I’m happy to be playing Marat; we have fought some battles,” Federer said after ousting error-prone Evgeny Korolev of Russia 6-2,6-3,6-1 in just 86 minutes. “We had the epic in 2005.”

That was a semi-final thriller here that Safin won in a 9-7 fifth set en route to the championship. Safin,a former world No. 1,beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 7-5,6-2,6-2. He has said he is unlikely to play after this year,so he’s trying to enjoy what could be his farewell tour. “I’m going to go for it. Whatever comes,comes. He knows how to play against me; I know how to play against him,” Safin said.

The winner would be on track for a possible semi-final meeting against defending champion Novak Djokovic,who traded shots with No. 68 Jeremy Chardy for nearly a set before the Frenchman faltered. Third-ranked Djokovic cruised the rest of the way for a 7-5,6-1,6-3 win.

Seventh-seeded Andy Roddick had his hands full against Xavier Malisse of Belgium. Roddick rallied for a hard-fought 4-6,6-2,7-6 (1),6-2 victory.

Jankovic braves through

Serbs Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic advanced on the women’s side. Ivanovic beat Italy’s Alberta Brianti 6-3,6-2. Top-ranked Jankovic,seeking her first Grand Slam title and recovering from illness,ousted Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium 6-4,7-5.

No 3 Dinara Safina overcame 44 unforced errors in a 6-7 (3),6-3,6-0 win over fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova. Unseeded Jelena Dokic,a former Wimbledon semi-finalist,ousted 17th-seeded Anna Chakvetadze 6-4,6-7 (4),6-3.

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