BEIJING, China - From a 6-0, 4-1 deficit, Serbia's Aleksandra Krunic pulled off the first big stunner of the China Open in just the third completed main draw match on Saturday, upsetting No.6 seed Elina Svitolina, 0-6, 6-4, 7-6(4).
After losing the first nine games, the Serbian engineered a comeback for the agesin over two hours to score her second Top 10 victory over the season and fourth of her career, and first win over Svitolina in a head-to-head dating back six years.
After 11 games, Krunic ran off the last seven to turn the scoreboard in her favor at 0-6, 6-4, 2-0, but she was ultimately a break up three times in the final set before winning it all in a tense tiebreak.
The first six games largely raced by for the Serb, who found herself a set down in under 30 minutes, after a pair of tightly-contested opening games both went the Ukrainian's way.
Krunic hit 12 unforced errors to just five winners in the opening set, while Svitolina tallied nine winners to just five unforced.
The World No.6's form continued into the second set, as she again broke Krunic early and was never even taken to deuce on serve en route to building her 4-1 lead.
It was then that the Serb made her move, as she was two points away from trailing 5-1 at 30-30 in her next service game, and a loose one in response from Svitolina at 30-0 up helped Krunic get the second set back on serve.
In the final set, Krunic struck first, winning eight of the first nine points of the decider to establish an early lead.
After Svitolina saved a break point which would've seen her trail 0-3, she went on a run of her own and claimed nine straight points, but ultimately dropped serve once more in a fifth game where she led 30-0.
Undaunted, the Ukrainian leveled again, and moved ahead for the first time in nearly an hour of play by holding for the second time in the final set.
She twice led the World No.63 by a hold in the decider, but Krunic made it a hat trick of breaks in the 11th game to step to the line to serve for the stunner.
Though she came from 0-40 down to put herself two points away from victory, the 24-year-old held off Svitolina by winning five of the last seven points in the tiebreak to seal the win.
Krunic will next face the winner of Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open quarterfinalist Katerina Siniakova and Alison van Uytvanck.