Australian Open: Top Seed Simona Halep Survives a Marathon Match

21 January, 2018, 00:35 | Author: Raquel Nash
  • Federer and Djokovic hold court on Open day 6

"Definitely it was a very tough match".

"I have never played a match like that before where it went so long in the third set". "I'm nearly dead. It was nice we could show such good tennis".

"It's a good position for me to be in and I'm enjoying it". "I don't know how my ankle is because I can't feel it anymore". "But it was nice to win and to again be in the fourth round of this tournament is great".

Keys missed last year's Australian Open after undergoing surgery to fix her injured left wrist.

Top seed Simona Halep marched into the third round of the Australian Open with a straight-sets victory over Eugenie Bouchard.

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were nearly as ruthless in their straight-sets wins Saturday night, which is hardly surprising for two players with a combined 31 Grand Slam titles.

Davis was a career-high 26th in the world in May previous year after winning her first WTA tournament in Auckland, before slipping to her current 76.

Maria Sharapova will be centre stage on Rod Laver Arena against Angelique Kerber in a fascinating encounter between the only two Australian Open winners left in the women's draw.

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With the temperatures a manageable 26 degrees Celsius at Melbourne Park after two days of oven-like conditions, the Romanian looked to be in trouble against American Lauren Davis.

Davis failed to keep up her momentum after grabbing the first set, as her baseline game crumbled at the sight of the finishing line. Davis saved five break points in the 23rd game but she looking increasingly suffering.

"I'm nearly dead", the tenacious Romanian said after the incredible battle, in which Davis lost a toenail and Halep served for the match four times. She then played only one match after the U.S. Open before shutting down her season early to let the wrist heal.

Flying under the radar, the 17th seed has surrendered just 16 games on her way to the fourth round after beating Romania's Ana Bogdan 6-3, 6-4. "We were both fighting our hearts out, and, I mean, every point was just super long.?I got to the point where I was so exhausted, I just told myself to swing and move and for the most part it was very effective. We were both fighting our hearts out, and, I mean, every point was just super long", Davis said. The Austrian showed few ill-effects from his five-setter against Denis Kudla in the second round, securing a 6-4 6-2 7-5 win on Margaret Court Arena.

The Belarusian, carrying an 18-7 career mark against opponents from France before the match, including a 15-4 record on hardcourts, pushed the match to a decider.

Elsewhere, Czech sixth seed Karolina Pliskova beat compatriot Lucie Safarova 7-6 (8-6) 7-5 to reach round four.

The three hours 45 minutes battle equalled the longest ever match at the Australian Open - the 1999 quarter-final clash between Chanda Rubin and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.

She advances to play either Barbora Strycova or American Bernarda Pera in the fourth round.

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