Qualifier Chan Yung-Jan of Taiwan saved two match points and rallied for a 6-7 (4), 7-6 (8), 7-5 win over third-seeded Jelena Jankovic to advance to the semifinals of the Mercury Insurance Open on Friday.
After holding off two match points to win the second-set tiebreaker, Chan ran off three straight games to take a 5-2 lead in the third. However, Jankovic tied the match at 5 before Chan held serve for a 6-5 lead.
Chan then got her third career win against a top-20 player in the next game when Jankovic hit a backhand long to end the 3-hour, 13-minute quarterfinals match.
"I thought the match was really a mental game between us," Chan said of the second longest WTA match this season.
Chan will next face the winner of the night match between top-seeded Marion Bartoli of France and No. 5 seed Christina McHale of the U.S.
"[Jankovic] looked like she was out of the match and tired and didn't want to hang there," Chan said about taking a 5-2 lead in the third set. "But I knew that she was going to come back."
In addition to the match points, Chan also had to overcome heat exhaustion. Trailing 3-2 in the second set, Chan called for a trainer on court.
Chan, ranked No. 161, trailed 6-5 and was two points away from losing in the second set when she forced the tiebreak. The 20th-ranked Jankovic had two match points but Chan hit a backhand winner on the first and her Serbian opponent missed a backhand shot on the second.
"I lost my focus and I kind of brought her back into the match," Jankovic said. "When I lost that second set, it was so tough mentally and, of course, physically because we are playing in the heat."
No. 2 seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia won her second consecutive match in straight sets with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Poland's Ursula Radwanska.
Cibulkova reached her second semifinal of the season where she will face fourth-seeded Nadia Petrova. The Russian defeated U.S. Olympian Varvara Lepchenko, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (5).