LONDON: Ajla Tomljanovic became the first Australian woman in more than two decades to reach back-to-back Wimbledon quarter-finals when she wore down Alize Cornet in an electrifying 4-6 6-4 6-3 contest on Monday (Jun 4).
The unseeded Australian had beaten Cornet in a topsy-turvy three-setter at last year's championships and Monday's encounter was no less eventful as both players kept being broken.
With Cornet leading 4-2 in the opening set, the players embarked on a sequence of six games that went against serve.
Although the 32-year-old Frenchwoman managed to win the first set during that run, it set a trend in a match which featured 16 breaks, with Tomljanovic coming out on top of that count 9-7.
None of them were as important as the final game, however.
After Cornet, who had ended world number one Iga Swiatek's remarkable 37-match winning streak in the previous round, saved Tomljanovic's first two match points, the players brought the Court Two crowd to their feet in a 26-shot rally.
It ended with Cornet's tired limbs failing her as she smashed the ball into the net and immediately collapsed on to her back - hardly surprising considering the hard-hitting baseline contest had gone on for more than 2-1/2 hours.
Seconds later, Tomljanovic almost toppled over the net as she hit a crosscourt winner to seal her place in the last eight. Once she knew victory was hers, the tears running down her face summed up the emotions of the afternoon.
The 44th-ranked Tomljanovic will next face Kazakh 17th seed Elena Rybakina.