World No 2 surfer Sally Fitzgibbons drew on her trademark fighting spirit yesterday to stay alive in the Margaret River Pro.
Forced into a sudden-death elimination heat against American Lakey Peterson after a surprise loss in round three, Fitzgibbons nailed a couple of early high-scoring rides to claim victory.
The 22-year-old from Gerroa will take on Hawaiian sensation Alana Blanchard in today's quarter-final at WA's famous surf break.
Fitzgibbons has finished runner-up on the world championship tour for the past three years and was second behind Tyler Wright in this season's opening event on the Gold Coast.
Wright, formerly of Culburra, stayed on track for a second straight win by booking a quarter-final clash with New Zealander Paige Hareb.
Reigning world champ Stephanie Gilmore and fourth seed Carissa Moore also lost round-three heats before bouncing back with sudden-death wins in round four.
Organisers expect 3.5-metre waves tomorrow, and a perfect 2.5-metre swell with offshore winds is forecast for Sunday's grand final.
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