Australian Open: Halep nearly 'dies' getting over Davis hurdle

Australian Open: Halep nearly 'dies' getting over Davis hurdle

Australian Open: Halep nearly 'dies' getting over Davis hurdle

Halep and Davis slugged out a marathon encounter lasting three hours and 45 minutes, with the Romanian triumphing 4-6, 6-4, 15-13 on Rod Laver Arena to equal the Open's record for most games played in a women's match.

Both players had emptied the tank by this stage, with Davis needing two medical time-outs for treatment on both of her feet, before Halep secured a break at 13-13 before serving out the match in the next game.

Once a mentally uncertain player, Halep insists she is a tougher, more resistant athlete and said with an impeccable honesty: "I think in the past I wouldn't have fought that hard".

"I've never played a third set so long".

She will play American 17th seed and 2017 US Open runner-up Madison Keys who progressed with a 6-3 6-4 win over Romania's Ana Bogdan. "I'm nearly dead", said the Romanian after finally edging across the finish line. "My ankle is, I don't know how it is because I don't feel it anymore, but it was nice to be on court". After a scintillating 225-minutes of play, world number one Simona Halep sneaked past the unsafe Lauren Davis in the third round of the 2018 Australian Open.

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It appeared over when Halep served for the match at 5-4 in the third set.

"She played great", an exhausted Halep told Xinhua.

Despite falling a break behind in the opener, it was the 5ft 2in Davis who recovered well to claim the opener before Halep, at 5ft 6in, forced the decider.

The world No 1, who had won the pair's only previous meeting at Indian Wells in 2013, has endured her travails in the opening week in Melbourne, she suffered an ankle injury in her first-round victory, but remains in with a chance of a maiden Grand Slam title.

Another vicious forehand put a prowling Halep a double-break up at 4-1 and although Bouchard hung in there and broke for a second time in the next game, she was a set down after blasting a bold attempted victor long.

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'Left all that I had out there on the court, and I did all that I could do.

Chung Hyeon beat fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev 5-7, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-3, 6-0.

In other late second-round action, Japan's Naomi Osaka knocked off No. 16 Elena Vesnina of Russian Federation 7-6, 6-2 while No. 18 seed Ashleigh Barty of Great Britain rallied after losing the first set to move on to the third round, defeating Italy's Camila Giorgi 5-7, 6-4, 6-1.

Photo Davis, 24, was ranked 76th in the world when she came to Melbourne for the Open.

After two comfortable wins the five-time major victor was growing in confidence, but she had no answers for Kerber, who is on a 12-match winning streak in a kind of comeback of her own after a sliding down the rankings a year ago. Look for Halep and Wozniacki to remain the favorites going into the second weekend.

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"I haven't done too well against her before and I want to improve", Garcia said of Keys. She's now one win away from a third Australian Open quarterfinal.

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