Halep survives marathon battle against Davis in Australian Open

Posted January 21, 2018

Davis staged a thrilling fightback in her fourth round clash with World No.1 Simona Halep before going down 4-6 6-4 15-13 in a three hours and 44 minute epic.

Their third set took 142 minutes, it involved 32 rallies of 10 shots or more, it included a medical timeout, more gasps than at a Cirque du Soleil show and a display of mind over exhausted body.

But she finally got over the line 4-6, 6-4, 15-13 in a gruelling match on Rod Laver Arena to make the fourth round in a contest that took its toll.

"I'm very exhausted. But there is a lot to take away from that match", the unseeded 24-year-old told reporters after being forced to answer questions about Cleveland and Cavaliers star LeBron James following the gruelling encounter.

"I have never played a match like that before where it went so long in the third set", Davis said. "It was not easy, but I just kept playing and I just kept believing that it's not over, even if she is leading".

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"I'm nearly dead", Halep said in an on-court interview. "My ankle is, I don't know how it is because I don't feel it anymore". "She played great", said Halep, who praised the 24-year-old Davis's short-angle backhand, and her defensive skills. 'But, I mean, there is a lot to take away from that match.

The petite American went toe-to-toe with Halep, who is regarded as one of the fittest, if not THE fittest, players on the women's tour.

Chung Hyeon became the first South Korean man ever to reach the round of 16 at the Australian Open with a five-set upset win over fourth seed Alexander Zverev on Saturday. The defence - especially from Davis, who time and time again made Halep hit one more ball - was scintillating. Davis's toenail, in fact, came off and she was correctly awarded an MTO before her next service game.

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

It's, beyond any doubts, a Darren Cahill win as well, who gave the Romanian to stand still and win a match that a couple of seasons ago she would have lost. I was in the zone and trying to focus on what it was I had to do in that next point in order to be successful. She has reached two finals in a Grand Slam event - at the 2014 and 2017 French Open - and she has never advanced past the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.

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For Halep, it was the first career "overtime" match in Grand Slam play.

Today, despite Bogdan played well above her ranking, the 2015 Australian Open semifinal fired off six aces and won 78% of points behind her powerful first serve. "I played much better than I expected".

Eight seed Caroline Garcia rode out a mid-match wobble to down Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-3 5-7 6-2.

Karolina Pliskova, also chasing her maiden Grand Slam title, won the all-Czech encounter against Lucie Safarova 7-6 (8-6) 7-5 in one hour and 37 minutes to reach the last 16.

Wozniacki was 5-1 down and facing two match points in third set against No. 119-ranked Jana Fett before deciding she had no choice but to attack.

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