Halep and Lauren Davis went three sets, including a 15-13 third set that allowed the former, the top seed, to advance to the Round of 16.
Women’s top seed Simona Halep barely survived a grueling third-round matchup at the Australian Open on Friday. Halep was taking on Lauren Davis, a comparatively unknown American ranked No. 76 in the world, and took the win, 4-6, 6-4, 15-13.
The match went three sets, including a huge tiebreak in the final frame. Halep had to save three match points over the nearly-four-hour match. Her opponent, Davis, also apparently lost some toenails, as she said to her trainer at one point during the match.
Halep has never won a Grand Slam title, and with Serena Williams not participating (and Venus Williams losing in the first round), Halep has a huge opportunity. But she had an injured ankle coming into this tournament, and after the longest match of her career on Saturday (also tied for the longest women’s match in terms of points ever at the Australian Open), there’s no way she will be 100 percent going into the Round of 16.
“Was very tough match. So long. I never played a third set so long,’’ Halep said. “So I’m really happy that I could stay and win it. I’m almost dead.”
In the next round, Halep will face either Naomi Osaka or Ashleigh Barty. There are still plenty of top women’s contenders in the bracket, including second seed Caroline Wozniacki, who is playing quite well.
The other top-seeded women in action on the day, No. 6 Karolina Pliskova and No. 8 Caroline Garcia, also picked up wins. Pliskova beat No. 29 Lucie Safarova in straight sets, 7-6(6), 7-5 while Garcia bested Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.
Below are the full results from Friday at the time of writing. Friday evening’s action in the U.S. equals mid-morning Saturday in Melbourne. You can find results, scores, and schedules for the women’s singles bracket at the Australian Open right here. Results for the men’s side can be found here.
No. 1 Simona Halep def. Lauren Davis, 4-6, 6-4, 15-13
No. 6 Karolina Pliskova def. No. 29 Lucie Safarova, 7-6(6), 7-5
No. 8 Caroline Garcia def. Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2
No. 17 Madison Keys def. Ana Bogdan, 6-3, 6-4