ROME -- World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka saved three match points to upend two-time champion Elina Svitolina and advance to the quarterfinals at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia. Sabalenka came from 2-0 down in the third set to win 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(7) in a match that finished well after midnight at the Foro Italico. 

"I gave it all today," Sabalenka said. "I couldn't give up. I couldn't leave the court. I felt like if my body allows me to play even 15 percent of my best tennis, I'm going to stay there, I'm going to fight."

Sabalenka will face No.10 Jelena Ostapenko for a spot in the semifinals on Wednesday. Ostapenko engineered her own comeback, defeating Slovakian qualifier Rebecca Sramkova 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(3) to make her fourth Rome quarterfinal.

It will be the first meeting on clay between Ostapenko and Sabalenka, with the reigning Australian Open champion winning both of their prior meetings on hard court. 

How the match was won: 16th-seeded Svitolina took advantage of 22 unforced errors from Sabalenka to take the opening frame after 43 minutes. A champion in 2017 and 2018, Svitolina won an impressive 82 percent of her first-serve points to open the match.

Sabalenka cleaned up her game and struck back in the second. She struck 14 winners to just three from Svitolina, while flipping the Ukrainian's success on serve. Svitolina won just 33 percent behind her first serve in the second set.

Injury concern: But there was cause for concern for the Sabalenka camp after her dominant 6-1 set. She took a lengthy medical timeout during the set break and received treatment for her lower back and hip area. 

"I was thinking it's a challenge to fight through whatever I had on the court," said Sabalenka, "and if I'm able to fight through it then I'm a really strong person. I'm really proud of myself today."

Sabalenka quickly found herself down 2-0 in the third. Svitolina looked primed to consolidate her break, leading 30-0 in the next game, but after flailing wildly at a return and throwing her racquet in frustration, Sabalenka dug in. 

Midnight Madness! Sabalenka saves match points to beat Svitolina

Sabalenka's tactical change: With three clean drop-shot winners, Sabalenka broke serve and eventually leveled the set to 2-2. She continued to smartly take advantage of Svitolina's deep position behind the baseline to break again for a 3-2 lead. Sabalenka protected her lead to earn a chance to serve out the win at 5-4, but Svitolina responded with a break at love. 

Turning point: With Sabalenka reeling, Svitolina charged into the lead and earned two match points with Sabalenka serving down 6-5, 15-40. Sabalenka played remarkable corner-to-corner defense to wipe away Svitolina's chances and force a deciding tiebreak. 

After an exchange of mini-breaks, Sabalenka earned her first match point with Svitolina serving down 6-5. Svitolina's tireless defense won out again, as she defended out of the corners before putting away a short forehand winner to level the tiebreak. 

Svitolina earned a third match point on Sabalenka's serve but missed her forehand return wide. That would be her final chance. On her second match point, Sabalenka ran around her forehand return and closed out the match with one final swing to win just before 1:00 a.m.

Words from the winner: "Sometimes I think you need to accept these tough challenges when everything is against you and fight through it," Sabalenka said. "It's a good preparation for the Grand Slams because in the Grand Slams sometimes not everything is going. your way and you have to fight through it."