Stosur erases 4 match points, beats Dementieva; 1st Australian woman in US quarters since ‘86

By Howard Fendrich, AP
Monday, September 6, 2010

Stosur beats Dementieva to reach US Open quarters

NEW YORK — Sam Stosur won the latest-finishing women’s match in U.S. Open history, erasing four match points to beat 2004 runner-up Elena Dementieva 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (2) in the fourth round.

There were 15 service breaks in the 2-hour, 38-minute match that officially ended at 1:35 a.m. Monday, when Stosur converted her second match point.

“When everyone stays out here and cheers and supports us like that, it couldn’t be any better,” 2010 French Open runner-up Stosur said in an on-court interview in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The previous record for a U.S. Open women’s match came in 1987, when Gabriela Sabatini and Beverly Bowes finished at 1:30 a.m. The latest finish at the tournament is 2:26 a.m., for a match between Mats Wilander and Mikael Pernfors in 1993.

The fifth-seeded Stosur is the first Australian woman to reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals since Wendy Turnbull lost in that round in 1986. Stosur advanced to face defending champion Kim Clijsters.

Stosur made her Grand Slam final debut at this year’s French Open, but she never had been past the second round at Flushing Meadows. Playing high-risk, high-reward tennis against the 12th-seeded Dementieva, Stosur produced far more winners, 35-19, but also more unforced errors, 58-38.

“I think we both played a great match. Went for it and gave it our best,” Stosur said. “To have a match like that here is just fantastic.”

Dementieva reached the 2004 final at Flushing Meadows and the French Open. This U.S. Open represented her return to Grand Slam tennis after missing Wimbledon because of left calf injury; before that, she played in 46 consecutive major tournaments.

Dementieva held her first match point at 1:03 a.m., serving at 5-3, 40-30. But the Russian ended a nine-stroke exchange by pushing a forehand wide. Stosur then earned two break points and converted the second when Dementieva missed another forehand.

That got Stosur to 5-4, but she double-faulted at 30-all to set up a second match point, which Dementieva wasted by sailing a backhand long. Two more match points came in that game, and Stosur saved both, managing to hold serve for 5-all.

Stosur broke for the seventh time to go ahead 6-5 when Dementieva missed a forehand wide. Given a chance to serve out the victory, Stosur didn’t make things easy on herself, putting a backhand into the net to give Dementieva a break point.

When an 18-stroke exchange closed with Dementieva netting a backhand, they were at deuce. Stosur hit a service winner at 111 mph to earn her first match point, then let that opportunity escape with a backhand of her own into the net.

Stosur controlled the deciding tiebreaker, though, taking the first three points and last three.

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