Samantha Stosur lost the battle but won the war, surrendering an historic second-set tie-breaker but recovering to beat Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 6-7 (15/17), 6-3 on Sunday to reach the US Open quarter-finals.
Russia's Kirilenko prevailed in what the WTA said was the longest women's singles tie-breaker at a Grand Slam tournament to knot the fourth-round match at a set apiece.
The 17/15 duel is destined to join the list of epic Grand Slam tie-breakers, including the 18/16 fourth-set tie-breaker that John McEnroe won over Bjorn Borg in the 1980 Wimbledon final -- in which Borg eventually triumphed.
Stosur failed on five match points in the tie-breaker, which Kirilenko finally claimed on her sixth set point when Stosur netted a forehand.
"Obviously I knew it was pretty long," Stosur said of the tie-breaker. "I lost track of the score, I didn't know at one point if I should be serving or receiving. With all the challenges it was super-exciting."
Stosur had already entered the record books this week when she toiled for three hrs and 16 mins to get past Nadia Petrova 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (5/7), 7-5 in the third round -- the longest recorded women's singles match at the US Open since the tie-break era began in 1970.
Zvonareva in quarters Meanwhile, world number two Vera Zvonareva booked her quarter-final berth at the US Open on Sunday with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Germany's Sabine Lisicki.