Daria ‘Dasha’ Gavrilova has cashed in on a stunning meltdown from Bernarda Pera to scrape into the French Open third round in Paris.
The 24th seed teetered on the brink of a humbling straight-sets exit before saving a match point and joining fellow Australian Samantha Stosur in the last 32 with a 2-6 7-5 6-3 Houdini act on Thursday.
Pera collapsed dramatically after blowing a match point at 5-2 up in the second set.
The American again served for the match at 5-4, but was unable to land a ball in the court, the left-hander incredibly committing nine unforced errors in a row, including a double-fault, to gift Gavrilova a lifeline.
Gavrilova didn’t immediately capitalise on her unexpected good fortune, dropping serve to love in the opening game of the third set and falling behind 2-0.
But she quickly regrouped and reeled off five straight games before clinching an epic victory after two hours and 35 minutes.
The great escape followed a similar fightback win from a set and a service break down in the first round against Sorana Cirstea and thrust Gavrilova into a showdown with Australian Open semi-finalist Elise Mertens on Saturday.