Ivanovic chokes under pressure against Clijsters after leading 5-1.

Defending champion Kim Clijsters came back from the brink of defeat as she saved five match points to beat Ana Ivanovic at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. Second seed Clijsters reached the fourth round with a 7-6 (7/4) 3-6 7-6 (7/5) success, but at 5-1 behind and then at 0-40 on her own serve in the deciding set she had looked like going out. The Belgian clawed her way back into the set, before edging the tie-break against her Serbian opponent. Clijsters said: “I think because I have been on the tour for many years, you realise you have to keep trying until the last point is played.”

Ivanovic, a former world number one, admitted the defeat had left her tearful. “You should see my racquet. I kind of broke my racquet and then cried a little bit, and then I was okay,” she said. Clijsters will take on Victoria Azarenka in the quarter-finals.

Maria Sharapova set up a semi-final against Andrea Petkovic after both women recorded three-set wins. Sharapova, the 16th-seeded Russian, was pushed all the way by Romanian 26th seed Alexandra Dulgheru but scraped through a 3-6 7-6 (10/8) 7-6 (7/5) winner.



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