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

21 January, 2018, 00:40 | Author: Angelina Schmidt
  • Karolina Pliskova proved too strong for Lucie Safarova on Saturday. Lukas Coch  EPA

In the tenth anniversary of the latest finish ever at Australian Open, Simona Halep won the clash of the tournament.

She defeated her American opponent by 4-6 6-4 15-13.

Halep left fans gasping in concern after rolling her ankle during her first-round win over Destanee Ajava, and even Halep admitted after beating Bouchard that she was anxious entering the match.

"I have never played a match like that before where it went so long in the third set. I'm nearly dead", said the Romanian after finally edging across the finish line.

For Davis, as discouraging as it might be to have nothing to show for all that hard work, it was a very good tournament. So I made, like, a commitment to myself before this tournament that I'm going to be my own best friend and just my greatest supporter, and accept all that God has to give me.

"The feeling in my muscles is gone and I don't feel my ankle anymore", she added. But it was nice to be on court.

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Davis required a medical timeout at 11-all after telling the chair umpire her toenail had fallen off. The decider would be longer than the first two sets combined.

Roger Federer eased into the second week with a 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 win over Richard Gasquet, and stayed on course for a 20th Grand Slam title.

Halep looked on the verge of a win when she served at 5-4.

The match included 48 games, which ties the most for a women's encounter in Australian Open history, as two of the most diminutive players on tour played out an epic. Wozniacki had to save four break points while serving for the match but clinched it on her fourth match point.

Davis then had treatment on her right foot before saving five more break points in the next game.

"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. I think there is quite a few positives to take away from and to learn from, so things are looking up.

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It eclipsed the 3hr 1min that fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu took to defeat Ekaterina Makarova of Russian Federation 3-6, 6-4, 8-6 in the first round on Monday. I did that, and I think she was a little bit exhausted at that moment. My ankle, I don't know how it is because I don't feel it any more.

She will next test herself against French eighth seed Garcia, who was too strong for Belarussian Alaksandra Sasnovich, winning in three sets. Incredibly, the Hungarian had not won a Grand Slam match before this year's Australian Open - finally coming of age at 25.

Earlier, sixth seed Karolina Pliskova beat Czech Fed Cup teammate Lucie Safarova 7-6, 7-5 to move into the fourth round.

World No. 1 Simona Halep saved three match points to survive a titanic struggle and make the last 16 at the Australian Open, here on Saturday.

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

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