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Aussie No.1 saves EIGHT set points to join Kyrgios in US Open QFs

Ajla Tomljanovic has continued her giant-killing US Open run to give Australia a women’s and men’s quarter-finalist at Flushing Meadows for the first time in almost 40 years.

Two days after spectacularly ending Serena Williams’ storied career, Tomljanovic snapped the 13-match, 18-set winning streak of Liudmila Samsonova with a tenacious 7-6 (10-8) 6-1 fightback against the red-hot Russian.

Just as she did in her against-the-odds win over Williams, Tomljanovic again displayed extraordinary mental resilience on Louis Armstrong Stadium.

The 29-year-old battled back from 5-2 down in the opening set and saved eight set points in an epic 18-minute game to draw level at 5-5.

After fending off her eighth set point in the tiebreaker to snatch the set, Tomljanovic seemingly broke Samsonova’s spirit.

Tomljanovic said she probably would have panicked had she known the pivotal 10th game of the match lasted almost 20 minutes.

“I think it’s just about staying in the moment cos she played well and I don’t really have time to dwell because the game is going by quickly,” she said.

“I’m just trying to stay as calm as long as possible even though inside I’m dying.”

Tomljanovic has now reached back-to-back grand slam quarter-finals, after making the last eight at Wimbledon six weeks ago for the second year in a row.

Guaranteed a new career-high ranking inside the world’s top 35 after the Open, Tomljanovic will play either Tunisia’s fifth-seeded Wimbledon runner-up Ons Jabeur or Russian Veronika Kudermetova for a place in the semi-finals on Wednesday (Thursday AEST).

Kyrgios and Tomljanovic, a long-time former couple, are the first Australian men and women to make the US Open quarters in the same year since Pat Cash and Wendy Turnbull in 1984.


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