WHAT HAPPENED: In a battle that came down to the wire, unseeded Kaia Kanepi of Estonia fought off two match points in the final set tiebreak to upend 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 in a dramatic US Open second round battle on Thursday.
No. 24 Stosur led 4-1 in the final tiebreak and held two match points. Kanepi, 29, fought back and won the tiebreak 10-8. Kanepi had served for the match at 5-4 after breaking serve in the ninth game but Stouser rallied behind a pro-Australian crowd to break back.
A fit and focused Stosur, 30, opened the match strongly taking the first set in just 30 minutes.
Undaunted, Kanepi began to find her range and raced to a 5-0 lead in the second set. Stosur stiffened briefly before Kanepi wrapped up the set to push the match into a decisive final set.
WHAT IT MEANS: Kanepi will play No. 15 seed Carla Suarez Navarro (whom she leads 4-3 in their head-to-head), with top seed Serena Williams the likely fourth round opponent. The always-dangerous Estonian has now reached the quarterfinals of at least one Grand Slam tournament in five of the last seven seasons. The former Top 15 player has long struggled with injuries and consistency, but has pulled her share of upsets on the biggest stages.
The win opens up the draw for top seed Serena Williams, who could have faced Stosur in what would have been a rematch of the 2011 US Open final in the round of 16.
THE QUESTION: Can Kanepi reestablish herself as one of the most dangerous floaters in women's tennis?