Simona Halep survives epic battle against Lauren Davis in Australian Open clash

Simona Halep survives epic battle against Lauren Davis in Australian Open clash

Simona Halep survives epic battle against Lauren Davis in Australian Open clash

After 48 games and three hours, 45 minutes on court, Halep booked her spot in the fourth round courtesy of Saturday's epic 4-6 6-4 15-13 victory over the unseeded American in Melbourne.

The first match points for either player came in the 22nd game of the final set, when Davis earned three on Halep's serve but lost them all.

Although Bouchard, the last Canadian man or woman at this year's tournament, broke Halep's serve twice in the first set, Halep never appeared threatened as she dominated on defense against Bouchard - who held serve only once the entire match.

Halep said that instead of getting tight when facing those three match points, her arm actually relaxed a little.

Halep, still nursing the ankle she injured her ankle in her first-round win, said: "I'm nearly dead. So long. I never played the third set so long", said Halep, who will next Naomi Osaka after the Japanese player ended the hopes of Ashleigh Barty in straight sets. "I'm very happy I could stay and win was very nice we could show such good tennis".

"I'm nearly dead", Halep, a 26-year-old Romanian, said after her victory.

"The feeling in my muscles is gone and I don't feel my ankle anymore", she added.

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"I obviously have to be more humble this time with my expectations because I haven't played for six months", said the 14th-seeded Djokovic, who played down the medical time out he took to receive a massage on his back and upper legs as just the tribulations of returning to the tour. After a scintillating 225-minutes of play, world number one Simona Halep sneaked past the risky Lauren Davis in the third round of the 2018 Australian Open.

"She's an incredible player". The defence - especially from Davis, who time and time again made Halep hit one more ball - was scintillating.

Halep, who turned her left ankle during her first match here, managed to dart around the court with the ankle taped tightly, but will likely be concerned as to how she will recover after this endurance test.

Lauren Davis played a part in Australian Open history Saturday and the unheralded American is determined to build on her performance, despite bowing out in memorable fashion at Melbourne Park.

But when the two squared off in the second set, the tournament's top seed regained her composure and began to take control of the tussle.

Halep will play the victor of the match between 18th-seeded Ashleigh Barty of Australia and Naomi Osaka of Japan in the fourth round. "She's super agile and dynamic around the court", she said. "We were both fighting our hearts out", said the exhausted Davis.

Sixth-seeded Karolina Pliskova beat No. 29 Lucie Safarova 7-6 (6), 7-5. Look for Halep and Wozniacki to remain the favorites going into the second weekend.

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