Sixteen-year-old Mirra Andreeva kept her Australian Open run alive with a mammoth third-round escape on Friday, as she came from 5-1 down in the final set -- and saved a match point -- to beat France's Diane Parry, 1-6, 6-1, 7-6[5].

Andreeva was facing Parry, just 21 years old herself, for the second time in their professional careers. Last spring, Andreeva beat Parry at Roland Garros, 6-1, 6-2, but there was no such result to be had on Court 3 in Melbourne. Instead, two quick-tempo sets were followed by a dramatic and thrilling third set, in which Parry not only served for the win twice -- and had a match point on Andreeva's serve at 5-2, 30-40 -- before Andreeva won five games in a row but then failed to serve out the match herself. 

Read: Andreeva's remarkable comeback draws praise from Andy Murray

That set the stage for a 10-point, deciding tiebreak -- one that Andreeva dominated almost from the first ball. Three straight points after dropping the first -- and four more in a row from 3-2 -- gave the reigning WTA Newcomer of the Year the breathing room she needed to eventually close out the match on her second match point in 2 hours and 23 minutes. 

"I would prefer to win in straight sets. I think everybody would," a smiling Andreeva said afterwards, "But it's also good to win when you're fighting for every point. I think I will have a lot of matches like this in my career. I'm just happy with the win. I don't care how I win exactly with the score and the time, I just want to win.

"If it takes three sets, then I'm happy to win with three sets. If it takes two sets, then of course I'm happy to win with two sets."

Before the comeback: Parry's game was at its most fluid in a half-hour opening set, in which the combination of her heavy forehand at the baseline, comfort at the net, and overall all-court prowess left Andreeva befuddled.

The former junior World No.1 broke serve twice, and saved all four break points she faced -- all came in the seventh game as she sought to serve out the set -- and, in her third Grand Slam third-round appearance was one set away from her first fourth round.

"She played really well in the first set. It was really tough for me to do something," Andreeva said afterwards. "Then I just found my way. Honestly, overall it was a crazy match for me. In the third set I didn't really expect to come back, but I did it, so I'm very happy."

In set two, Andreeva returned the favor by winning the last five games -- and 18 of the last 22 points. 

Second week outlook: After reaching the last 16 at Wimbledon last year, Andreeva has now matched that achievement in Melbourne. She is the fourth player in the last 30 years to reach the fourth round at both Wimbledon and the Australian Open before turning 17 after Martina Hingis, Tatiana Golovin and Coco Gauff.

Krejcikova survives scare to defeat Hunter

For a spot in her first Grand Slam quarterfinal, Andreeva will next face No.9 seed Barbora Krejcikova. The 2021 Roland Garros champion needed to come from a set down to defeat qualifier Storm Hunter, the last Australian player in the draw, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 in 2 hours and 30 minutes. Krejcikova advances to the second week in Melbourne for the third straight year, and for the seventh time overall at a Grand Slam.

Krejcikova and Hunter had crossed paths on several previous occasions -- but this was the first time they had met in singles at pro level. Krejcikova had won all four of their doubles encounters, as well as one junior singles match. But, spurred on by her home crowd, Hunter took advantage of 21 unforced errors from Krejcikova to take an opening set that had featured five breaks of serve.

Both players' raised their level in the second set, finding the lines with thumping groundstroke winners and showing off their prowess at net. A series of stellar forehands enabled a surging Hunter to hold two break points at 4-4, and another two at 5-5, for the chance to serve out the match. But Krejcikova found unreturnable serves to stave off all four, and then a clean return winner to break Hunter for the set.

The Czech player took her momentum into the decider, breaking Hunter for 2-0 after an ill-timed double fault from the World No.180 gifted Krejcikova a break point. She maintained that lead through the rest of the set, converting her first match point with an emphatic forehand winner, her 44th of the day.

Andreeva has not dropped a set to Krejcikova in two previous meetings last year, a win via retirement in the second round of Wimbledon and then a 6-2, 6-2 victory in the first round of Beijing.

"The last two times I played against her, I barely won a couple of games," said Krejcikova in her on-court interview. "So, we will see! It's going to be another difficult match. I'm just going to try to be third time lucky."

- Insights from
mirra andreeva
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66.7% Win 2
- Matches Played
33.3% Win 1
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