Melbourne: A relieved Caroline Wozniacki hailed her greatest comeback on Wednesday after saving two match points at 1-5 in the final set to keep her Grand Slam dream alive against little-known Jana Fett.
The second seed finally prevailed 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 in the second round of the Australian Open on a searing Rod Laver Arena after an epic two hour and 31 minutes battle against the Croat ranked 119th.
"At 5-1, 40-15, I felt, like, I was one foot out of the tournament," admitted Wozniacki.
"She served a great serve down the 'T', as well. It was just slightly out. I was kind of lucky."
The Dane reeled off four points in a row to get to 5-2 and then never looked back, racing through the next five games in just 20 minutes.
It was tough on the plucky 21-year-old Fett who, in sight of the greatest victory of her fledgling career, melted away in the centre court's heat.
"I felt her tighten up just slightly. I thought to myself, you know what, at this point, make her win it," added the World No 2.
"When I got to 5-2, I said, OK, I'm still alive. Just try and stay aggressive. That was that."
Asked by reporters if this was the greatest comeback of her long career, in her 43rd Grand Slam tournament, Wozniacki was unequivocal.
"Yeah, definitely. I'm very proud of the way I came back," the 27-year-old former number one said.
"It was very hard, and she was playing well," she added of Fett who was in the second round of a Slam for the first time.
"All of a sudden seeing myself down, almost out of the tournament, I started playing the tennis that I wanted to play."
After being a point away from becoming the latest big-name casualty in the bottom half of a draw that has become a seeds graveyard, Wozniacki was emotional straight after.
"That was crazy, I don't how I got back the in the match," she said.
Wozniacki reeled off 10 points in a row from two match points down to ignite her recovery.
"Experience was crucial," she said. "I think she suddenly realised at 5-1 what was happening and I just had to attack and take advantage of it."
On Monday fifth seed Venus Williams, 10th seed CoCo Vandeweghe and 13th seed and reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens all made early exits, meaning the bottom half of the draw is now wide open.
Wozniacki will continue her quest for a maiden Grand Slam title in the third round on Friday against Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands who beat American Nicole Gibbs 6-7 (7/3), 6-0.
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Updated Date: Jan 17, 2018 17:52:42 IST