German Anna-Lena Friedsam suffered a leg injury just when she seemed on the verge of causing a boilover in the fourth round of the Australian Open on Sunday, allowing No.4 seed Agnieszka Radwanska to scrape through to the quarter-finals.
The unfancied Friedsam led 5-2 in the deciding set before being forced to call for a medical timeout two games later to have her upper left leg strapped.
By now in clear physical distress, Friedsam was only just able to play out the match as she lost 6-7 (6-8) 6-1 7-5 in two hours and 32 minutes.
“We also played two weeks ago and I knew this was going to be a tough one,” said Radwanska, who is still searching for her maiden grand slam title.
“(Friedsam) is definitely playing better than her ranking.
“I was definitely in trouble in the first and third sets.
“I just hope nothing serious happened to her with the cramps.”
Radwanska is the second highest-ranked player behind world No.1 Serena Williams still left in the women’s draw after No.2 Simona Halep and No.3 Garbine Muguruza crashed out earlier in the tournament.
The Polish star advanced to a quarter-final against either Australian Daria Gavrilova or No.10 seed Carla Suarez Navarro from Spain.
Friedsam, 21, had won only two of her previous eight matches at grand slam level before arriving at Melbourne Park.