No. 1 Simona Halep ignores injury, beats Eugenie Bouchard in Australian Open

Halep reacts after losing the first set to her unseeded American opponent on Saturday

In the end, Halep, leaning on experience, won 4-6, 6-4, 15-13, saving three consecutive match points at 10-11 and serving out the match only on her fourth attempt and dancing on a tightrope between catastrophe and champion.

Simona Halep survived an almighty scare as American Lauren Davis pushed her all the way in a titanic three-setter which lasted 3 hours and 44 minutes.

The final set alone lasted 2 hours, 22 minutes as both women pushed their bodies to the limit.

Davis had her second toe toenail on her left foot attended to twice in the match, right after failing to win any of those three match points and before Halep served in the 23rd game.

"It definitely was a very tough match". So long. I never played a third set so long, " Halep said. I gave everything I had, and actually, I'm really proud that I could stay there and win it.

Still Halep's duties were not done: It is the practice at the Australian Open for winners to perform and on-court interview, even though she pronounced herself "almost dead" with her effort. "I don't know how my ankle is because I can't feel it any more".

"I am always happy if I'm not the drama, and I feel like the U.S. Open I was the drama every night match that I played", Keys said. "But it was nice to win and to again be in the fourth round of this tournament is great".

"I look forward to these matches".

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 past year.

A much-hyped match between two former Australian champions was no contest: 2016 victor Angelique Kerber beat Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena to open the night program. Three hours and 45 minutes?

"I haven't done too well against her before and I want to improve", Garcia said of Keys. 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.

Halep's gained some revenge from the last - and only - time the pair met in a Grand Slam tournament.

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.

The hugely anticipated match-up of the only two Australian Open winners and Grand Slam champions left in the women's draw got top billing at the Rod Laver Arena.

Sixth seed Pliskova also had a tough test, beating fellow Czech Lucie Safarova 7-6 (8/6), 7-5.

Top seed Simona Halep marched into the third round of the Australian Open with a straight-sets victory over Eugenie Bouchard. "I played much better than I expected".

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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