Paris: Argentina`s Gisela Dulko produced one of the finest performances of her career on Friday to reach the fourth round of the French Open with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 win over last year`s runner-up Samantha Stosur of Australia.
It was just the second time in 31 Grand Slam tournaments that the South American had made the last 16, after Roland Garros 2005 and at the 2009 US Open.
Her reward will be a matchup against either 11th seed Marion Bartoli of France or 17th seed Julia Goerges of Germany with a place in the quarter-finals at stake.
For Stosur it was a massive blow as she had been touted as a potential winner in a tournament blown wide open by the defeat on Thursday of Kim Clijsters.
With just a scattering of fans huddled up inside a chilly Philippe Chatrier centre-court, Dulko got off to a storming start winning the first four games before Stosur was able to get off the mark.
The Australian then negated one of the two breaks she had conceded in the following game but she handed that back immediately with a rash of unforced errors.
Dulko double-faulted on set point at 5-2 up as Stosur put increasing pressure on her weakish second serve and she paid the penalty as the Australian made it three straight service breaks.
Once again though the normally rock solid Stosur serve wavered and Dulko gathered three more set points which she promptly failed to convert.
Dulko served a second time for the set and this time she made no mistake to take a one set lead.
Stosur held serve to open the second set and that appeared to settle her down as she jumped out into a 3-0 lead on the way to comfortably winning the set 6-1.
A break in the third game of the deciding set opened the way to victory for Stosur at 2-1 up.
But she then produced a poor service game with two double faults to allow Dulko back into it.
Two games later the South American grabbed another break to take a 4-2 lead with Stosur struggling badly for consistency from the baseline.
Dulko served out twice to clinch a battling victory after which she unfurled a white towel carrying congratulations to the wife of her brother and coach who gave birth to twins on Wednesday.