Stosur: First Australian woman in the quarter-finals since 1986

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Fifth seed Samantha Stosur became the first Australian woman in the US Open quarter-finals since Wendy Turnbull in 1986 by defeating Russian 12th seed Elena Dem

Updated: September 06, 2010 18:10 IST
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New York :

Samantha Stosur saved four match points in the latest-finishing women's match in US Open history on Monday to beat Russian 12th seed Elena Dementieva 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7/2) and reach the quarter-finals.

The French Open runner-up from Australia will play for a semi-final berth against defending US Open champion Kim Clijsters, the second seed from Belgium who ousted Serbian former world number one Ana Ivanovic 6-2, 6-1.

Fifth seed Stosur saved one match point in the ninth game of the third set and three more in the 10th game before finally putting away Dementieva after two hours and 38 minutes, the match ending at 1:36 in the morning.

"I just dug deep and never gave up and made her work for it and I was able to pull it out," said Stosur, who also saved four match points in a victory at New Haven only days before the Open began.

The finish only ranked fifth on the all-time latest list, 50 minutes off the record, but eclipsed the former women's record -- Gabriela Sabatini's 6-3, 6-3 victory over Beverly Bowers that ended at 1:30 a.m. on September 2, 1987.

"It's good to make history I guess," Stosur said. "It's just unbelievable right now. We both played a great match. We both went for it. To have a match like that here is fantastic.

"That's definitely one of the most exciting matches I've ever played."

Despite 58 unforced errors that were 20 more than Dementieva, Stosur fought back from the brink of defeat time and again to become the first Aussie woman in last eight at a US Open since Wendy Turnbull in 1986.

"To come here and get my best result is great," Stosur said. "Hopefully I can keep it going. It's not going to be easy but I will give it my best."

Now she faces Clijsters, who has beaten her in all three of their meetings without dropping a set and won 18 US Open matches in a row - and she has about 14 more hours of rest as well.

"I guess I've got to recover as best I can and be ready to play tomorrow," Stosur said. "I'm going to have to play well, play some of my best tennis, fight hard and go for it. She hits the ball well, stays aggressive."

The women started late at Arthur Ashe Stadium after a four-set men's affair, the lateness of the hour throwing off Dementieva even before the start.

"It was difficult to play. We were waiting a long time," Dementieva said. "It was one of the latest matches I've played in my life. It was difficult to focus."

Dementieva and Stosur exchanged early breaks in the last set before the Russian broke again for a 5-3 lead.

Stosur saved a match point in the ninth game when Dementieva hit a forehand wide and another wide forehand by the Russian four points later surrendered a break that kept the Aussie in the match.

Dementieva squandered two more match points in the 10th game by sending backhands wide and yet another when Stosur hit a forehand winner on her way to holding to pull even at 5-5.

Stosur broke for a 6-5 lead and had a match point on her serve, but she netted a backhand and sent a forehand wide two points later to force the tie-breaker, in which she roared to a 4-1 lead and won when Dementieva sent a forehand beyond the baseline.

"I was trying to fight until the end," Dementieva said. "I was disappointed in the way I played the match points. I wasn't aggressive enough.

"I was feeling a little sleepy during the match. I had opportunities. I didn't take advantage."

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