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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Underdogs Outlast Seles, Davenport

NEW YORK -- It was a night of sensational comebacks as a pair of underdogs robbed the Chase Championships of two of its biggest stars.


First, Mary Joe Fernandez stormed back from two breaks down in the third set and saved three match points to stun third-seeded Lindsay Davenport 2-6, 6-4, 7-6, (9-7) on Wednesday.


Then Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario battled back from a set and two breaks down to oust three-time champion Monica Seles 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.


"I got a little bit frustrated at myself for letting her back into the match. With her, you really have to finish her off," said fifth seed Seles, who took a 14-1 record against Sanchez into the match.


"At 4-1, two breaks up, you have to put that away, especially on a fast surface where you should be able to hold your serve," said Davenport, echoing the favorites' theme of the night.


The 11th-ranked Fernandez earned a quarter-final meeting with eighth seed Irina Spirlea of Romania.


Sanchez, who qualified for the prestigious season finale for the ninth consecutive year, advanced to a meeting with second-seeded Czech Jana Novotna.


The Fernandez victory was especially shocking since third seed Davenport was the hottest player on the WTA Tour coming into the championships.


The Olympic champion had won 12 of her previous 13 matches, claiming consecutive indoor titles and reaching the final in Philadelphia, where she narrowly lost to world No. 1 Martina Hingis.


After getting smoked in the first set and going down a break to open the second, Fernandez took a nasty spill in the second game while charging the net, scraping her elbow.


"It was a bit of a wakeup call. I scraped it up pretty good. After that I started playing pretty well."


From 2-4 down in the second set, Fernandez started taking advantage of the 1.90 meter Davenport's mobility disadvantage, hitting deep low shots that she had trouble reaching.


Fernandez reeled off four games to force a third set, but Davenport came right back to break Fernandez twice and grab a commanding 4-1 lead.


Fernandez came back again, lead 6-5, and then forced Davenport to save a match point just to get to the tie-break. Davenport quickly fell behind 3-6 in the tie-breaker. But the world No. 2 saved three consecutive match points as she won four in a row.


The reversal of fortune gave Davenport a 7-6 lead and a match point on her own serve as she appeared to have averted disaster.


But Fernandez scored consecutive mini-breaks, getting her fifth match point of the contest at 8-7.


On that one, Davenport returned serve long to end the 2 hour 18 minute stunner and bring her superb year to a decidely unsatisfying conclusion.