AUSTRALIA'S Alicia Molik came back from the brink of elimination to post one of her finest career wins at the US Open tennis championships today.
The 68th-ranked South Australian upset 15th seed Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria 6-3 3-6 6-3 to set up a third round meeting with another top 20 player, 19th seeded Austrian Barbara Schett.
But there was no follow-up upset from Molik's compatriot Evie Dominikovic.
The 67th-ranked Sydneysider was crushed by second seed Jennifer Capriati 6-2 6-0 in a torrid introduction to centre court.
Molik is now the only Australian woman left of the four who had entered singles.
She had appeared to also be heading out of the tournament when, after squandering a strong start, she was down 3-1 in the third set against Maleeva.
But the lanky Australian Fed Cup representative dug deep to win the next five games on end, breaking the wilting Maleeva serve twice and lifting her own, with an ace on her second match point indicative of her form.
Molik's win means she matched her grand slam best of a third round berth at both the French Open in 1999 and last year's Australian Open.
Following her defeat of world No.30 Chanda Rubin in the first round in Los Angeles, it also marked her second win over a top 30 player in less than a month.
August 31, 2001