Laura Robson's brilliant US Open run came to an end in the fourth round on Sunday night, despite the teenager saving eight match points against defending champion Sam Stosur.
The 18-year-old Londoner had stunned Kim Clijsters and Li Na to reach the last 16, but a third grand slam champion proved a step too far at Flushing Meadows.
Robson began well and had good chances in the first set, but her cause was undermined by a series of unforced errors against the heavy spin of Stosur and she went down 6-4 6-4.
Robson returned to Louis Armstrong Stadium, the scene of her victory over Li on Friday, and picked up when she had left off, taking the game to her much more experienced opponent and breaking in the third game with a backhand that was too hot for Stosur.
The Australian, a shock winner over Serena Williams in the final last year, has one of the biggest serves in the women's game but also has a reputation for being mentally flaky. Robson could not keep the pressure on, though, losing the next game from 40-15 to level the scores at 2-2.
But she continued to trade well with Stosur and had more chances to break in the ninth game when her opponent put herself in trouble with two double faults.
However, twice Robson could not get her return in the court and, serving to stay in the set, it was the teenager who crumbled. She saved two set points but on the third a double fault proved very costly.
Robson had reaffirmed her commitment to attacking tennis after her win over Li but she was just going for a bit too much, too soon. She had three more chances to break in the third game of the second set but again did not get a return in play, and paid dearly when Stosur broke instead to lead 3-1.
But Robson was not finished. Five times she faced match point serving at 2-5 but five times she held on before eventually winning the game. That meant Stosur had to serve for it and, although she had two more match points, Robson simply would not give in and saved both of them, the second with a blistering return.
The teenager still had to hold to level at 5-5, though, and Stosur was a woman on a mission. The eighth match point went the way of the previous seven but on the ninth a desperate forehand down the line from Robson flew long.