MALLORCA, Spain - Anastasija Sevastova came from a set down to reach the last eight of the Mallorca Open on Thursday, beating Varvara Lepchenko 6-7, 6-1, 6-3 in a match of fluctuating fortunes on a sweltering Pista Central.
The Latvian second seed, who reached a career-high ranking of No.18 last month, was also taken to three sets by Elise Mertens in the opening round - and was made to work hard by Lepchenko to reach the last eight.
The second seed began much the better and stormed to a 4-1 lead in the first set after an early break, only to surrender her serve in the seventh game to allow Lepchenko to pull back to 4-4.
After both players had brief discussions with their coaches, the opening set remained on serve and went to a tiebreak. Lepchenko dictated, benefiting from two net cords to prevail 7-2 and move ahead.
The American took a lengthy break before the start of the second set, leaving Sevastova waiting in the sunshine, but was caught cold as play restarted. Sevastova broke in the opener and repeated the feat in the third, then won the final two games to force a deciding set.
Lepchenko made the first break of the third, taking an early lead, but the Latvian recovered in style, however, breaking back twice in succession and seeing out proceedings to move a step closer to another final appearance.
The 27-year-old lost out to Caroline Garcia last year, and will play either Ana Konjuh or the returning Victoria Azarenka for a place in this year's last four.