Second seed Serena Williams was knocked out of the China Open in the third round by Nadia Petrova amid a dramatic finish.
The Russian broke serve twice to win the first set 6-4, but a solitary break saw Williams take the second and extend the match into a final set.
That went to a tie-break in which Petrova quickly roared into a 5-0 lead, but Williams recovered – only for a disputed line call to end her hopes.
Facing match point at 6-5 down, Williams’ cross-court shot was wrongly called out. An overrule from the chair umpire saw the point replayed, but Petrova clinically won it to close out a 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-5) win.
Twelfth seed Agnieszka Radwanska trailed Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-4 4-0 before a stirring comeback saw her battle to a 4-6 6-4 6-2 win in two hours 17 minutes. The Pole will next face Russian fourth seed Elena Dementieva, who beat home hope Na Li yesterday.
Russia’s Vera Zvonareva dropped serve late in the second set but recovered to beat Flavia Pennetta 6-3 5-7 7-5 as the Italian underwent treatment for a back problem, and will take on France’s Marion Bartoli, seeded 14th, who hammered Chinese wild card Shuai Zhang 6-1 6-4.
In the men’s event, top seed Rafael Nadal was pushed all the way by American James Blake.
A late break saw the Spaniard take the first set 7-5 and, after dropping the second on a tie-break, a single break was enough to see him wrap up the decider 6-3 and set up a clash with Marat Safin.
The former world number one from Russia needed just one hour and nine minutes to upset seventh seed Fernando Gonzalez 6-3 6-4.
Croatia’s Ivan Ljubicic battled past Lukasz Kubot in three tight sets, winning 7-6 (8/6) 4-6 6-4 despite the Polish qualifier’s stunning first-serve percentage of 83.