New York:Blinking back tears and ignoring pain, American teenager Melanie Oudin pulled off the biggest upset so far by eliminating No. 4-ranked Elena Dementieva 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 at the US Open on Thursday.
Oudin ranked the upset alongside her victory over No. 6 Jelena Jankovic at Wimbledon, where she became the youngest player to make the fourth round since Jennifer Capriati in 1993.
Oudin, aged 17 and ranked 70th, played most of the third set with a heavy wrap on her left thigh, while cramps briefly reduced her to tears as she headed to the baseline to serve.
"First time playing on Arthur Ashe, I was beating No. 4 in the world, about to beat her," Oudin said. "Just a little bit of everything. A lot of things were going through my mind."
The match ended with a loud shriek when she painted the backhand corner with her serve on her third match point at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
She could very well be booked there again this week: Her next match will be against 29th-seeded Maria Sharapova or Christina McHale, another 17-year-old American.
"I don't even know what to say right now," Oudin said. "I'm so excited. You have no idea."
Dementieva, meanwhile, leaves Flushing Meadows with the more accomplished resume _ 14 titles, 14 runner-up finishes, more than $12 million in career earnings _ but still in search of her first Grand Slam title.
After her loss, Dementieva said she was impressed with America's new break-out player.
"She was in the court, not afraid to play, playing very aggressively, really enjoying this atmosphere and the crowd support," Dementieva said. "It looks like she has a good future."
In the match next door at Armstrong Stadium, No. 1 Dinara Safina also stayed alive in the quest for her first major, but in ugly fashion _ a 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3 victory over Germany's Kristina Barrois.
Safina won despite 38 unforced errors and 15 double-faults in her second straight uncomfortably close match.
She is ranked first despite having never won a major and she did little in this match against the 67th-ranked player in the world to cool the debate about whether she really belongs there.
Safina, playing in a smaller venue for a Thursday matinee, needed 2 hours, 13 minutes, much of which looked like the 2 hour-25 minute display she put on in her three-set opener against Olivia Rogowska of Australia.
"When you are playing on the court and you're fighting, maybe in some stages you're not playing your best," Safina said. "But you're still here and the crowd is supporting you and that just gives you another edge."
In other action, men's No. 20 seed Tommy Haas of Germany defeated American Robert Kendrick and 10th-seeded Fernando Verdasco also advanced. On the women's side, 13th-seeded Nadia Petrova, 21st-seeded Zheng Jie and No. 24 Sorana Cirstea advanced, while No. 30 Alona Bondarenko joined Dementieva as the only other seeded player to lose.