18th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova was involved in a thrilling match with Sabine Lisicki, who somehow fought back from a set and two games down to claim the victory on Saturday.

Kuznetsova will look back on the third round match and wonder how she let her dominant position slip, but Lisicki must take a lot of the credit for such a spirited performance. The Russian closed out a scrappy first set in just 28 minutes, which saw the opening 5 games all go against the serve, before Svetlana managed to hold hers and continue to break her opponent.

The second set look destined to be similar when Kuznetsova built up a 3-1 lead over the 14th seed with an early break. But at this point the German raised her game and broke back in both the 6th and 10th games to claim the second set 6-4.

The match was building up into an intriguing third set, and again it was finely balanced at the start of this set. However, in the fourth game, Kuznetsova carelessly double faulted to hand her opponent the opportunity to break her serve, and the nerves got to her as she fired a forehand long. Lisicki broke again in the 6th game only to be broken back instantly, but the German was composed enough to take her 7th break of serve to win the final set 6-2.

The comeback was one of the best so far at this year’s Australian Open, but Kuznetsova will be disappointed not to have taken the opportunity to win against an opponent seeded only four places above her in the competition. The Russian has performed poorly at the grand slams in the past year, her best result in 2011 being an appearance at the quarterfinals of the French Open, which she won in 2009. The 26-year old is still capable of some fantastic tennis, but needs to regain some of the confidence that was evident during her best period when she broke through as a young star in 2003 and 2004.