Australian Tyler Wright has flirted with a potential shock early exit at the Rip Curl Pro before advancing to the third round at Bells Beach.
The Australian looked to have the round-two clash against Pauline Ado safely in her keeping on Sunday, only for the Frenchwoman to put together a high-scoring wave in the final minute.
After a long deliberation, the judges decided Ado had come up just short, with the 21-year-old Wright winning by 14.14 points to 14.03.
“It was very close,” said Wright, who has lost in the final in each of the past two years at Bells to Hawaiian Carissa Moore.
“I possibly could have made a mistake by taking that last wave of mine which was a five.
“The wave didn’t do what I thought it might do and then her wave did exactly what I thought it would do.
“That’s just the way it is – that’s Mother Nature.
“It was a really tight heat but that’s what we come here for, those good battles.”
Australian Laura Enever made a late charge, only to come up just short in her second-round clash with rookie sensation Tatiana Weston-Webb from Hawaii.
Weston-Webb has made a flying start to the year, having reached the semi-finals at last month’s Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast.
She looked to have Sunday’s match-up all wrapped up, only for Enever to almost overtake her with a big wave in the final minute.
Silvana Lima – the 2009 Bells Beach champion – ended the challenge of Victorian Nikki van Dijk.
The Brazilian won 17.50 to 14.60.
Later in the day, Moore and Australian Sally Fitzgibbons advanced straight to the quarter-finals with contrasting third-round wins.
Moore dominated her three-way third-round clash against Lima and France’s Johanne Defay, while Fitzgibbons (16.17) just edged out American Lakey Peterson (16.04) in an encounter which also included Hawaiian Alessa Quizon (12.36).