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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 January, 2005, 04:52 GMT
Davenport beats Molik in marathon
Lindsay Davenport overcame Australia's Alicia Molik 6-4 4-6 9-7 after a titanic struggle on Rod Laver Arena.

Davenport served for the match at 5-4 in the deciding set but urged on by the crowd, Molik saved a match point then converted her sixth break point.

The top seed broke again at 7-7 and after recovering from 15-40 down, she finally sealed her semi-final place.

As she left the Arena, Molik was given a huge ovation by the crowd after a gruelling two-and-a-half hour battle.

Davenport, who goes on to face Nathalie Dechy in the last four on Thursday, was at a loss to explain how she prevailed.

"I am not sure how I am standing here, I feel very lucky to get through that," said the world number one.

"There were a lot of ups and downs. I feel I had it in the third set and let it go and a lot of times you do not get another opportunity.

The bottom line is I probably had a chance to win out there
Alicia Molik

"It was a really tough match, Alicia is a great player and a great sport."

Molik said her defeat would go on as "one that got away".

"The bottom line is I probably had a chance to win out there," said Molik, who has now lost all four of her meetings with Davenport.

"It's a game of numbers, and I've won 38 out of the last 42 matches, so I can't be too disappointed.

"I gave it my best - it was a battle out there - but she just got me again.

The Australian, playing in her first Grand Slam quarter-final, looked to be on her way out after Davenport wrapped up a routine first set.

Molik was unable to produce the tennis whach saw her oust Venus Williams in the previous round but she was given hope by her opponent.

At 4-5 in the second set, Davenport produced an awful service game, double-faulting twice in a row to hand Molik the set.

After a 10-minute heat break, Davenport rediscovered her serve in the decider and coupled with some crunching groundstrokes, she took control again.

But serving for the match at 5-4, she once again faltered.

Molik saved a match point and squandered five break points before eventually levelling in front of a raucous crowd on Australia Day.

The momentum swung again though and Davenport stepped up the pace to take an 8-7 advantage.

Molik once again fought valiantly to stay in it but Davenport, three times a Grand Slam winner, kept her nerve to advance to the last four.

Highlights: Australian Open day 10

Interview: Lindsay Davenport

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