By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE, Jan 22 - Petra Kvitova shattered Australia's hopes of a first women's champion in their home event since 1978 by knocking out fifth seed Sam Stosur 7-6 6-3 to advance to the fourth round of the Australian Open on Saturday.
"Don't really know how I lost it, to be honest," French Open runner-up Stosur, who blew a 5-3 lead in the opening set tiebreak, told reporters.
"Felt like I started playing a bit better and was probably on top of her and then all of a sudden it was gone and I was a set down.
"I thought she played extremely well pretty much the whole way through. I think it was a matter of a point here and a point there and she got the ones that really mattered."
Kvitova, the 28th seed, reeled off four consecutive points in the tiebreak, snatching the set with a forehand winner from the baseline.
Stosur's confidence drained when she dropped serve to trail 4-2 in the second set and she gifted her opponent three match points when she slapped a forehand wide at 5-3.
"I like this court and this crowd. Unfortunately, it was against me," Kvitova, a surprise Wimbledon semi-finalist last year, told reporters. "But still it was nice."
She will play Italy's Flavia Pennetta next.
(Editing by Martyn Herman)