Simona Halep of Romania saved three match points in a 4-6, 6-4, 15-13 victory over American Lauren Davis, who is ranked 76th in the world, in a third-round match. It tied a record for most games in a women’s match at the major tennis tournament.
MELBOURNE, Australia – Top-ranked Simona Halep of Romania saved three match points and finally finished off a 4-6, 6-4, 15-13 victory in a 3-hour, 45-minute marathon Friday against American Lauren Davis to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open tennis tournament.
Halep saved three match points while serving in the 22nd game of the third set at 0-40, and Davis saved five break points in the next game to keep the contest alive.
The third set took 2 hours, 22 minutes. After wasting three previous chances to serve out the match, Halep converted on her first match point when Davis hit a forehand wide.
It equaled the longest women’s singles match at the Australian Open in terms of games played: Chanda Rubin’s victory over Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1996 was also 48 games.
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Davis, who is ranked 76th in the world, had two medical timeouts in the third set for blisters on both feet.
“Definitely was a very tough match, so long,” said Halep, who has twice reached the final at the French Open but never won a singles title at a Grand Slam tournament. “I never played the third set so long, so I’m really happy I could stay and win it. I’m almost dead.
“I just feel that my muscles are gone. My ankle is, I don’t know how it is because I don’t feel it anymore, but it was nice to be on court. It was nice to win this match.”
Davis did everything possible to stay in the match, keeping long rallies alive to put pressure on Halep. She finished with roughly twice the number of winners (52 to 27) against slightly less than double the unforced errors (73-39) and broke Halep’s serve six times.
“We were both fighting our hearts out. Every point was super long,” Davis said. “I got to the point where I was so tired, I just told myself to swing and move.”
Meanwhile, U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys advanced 6-3, 6-4 over Ana Bogdan of Romania. The American next will play Caroline Garcia of France.
The 17th-seeded Keys, who lost in the U.S. Open final last year to American Sloane Stephens, saved three break points while serving for the match.
Keys missed last year’s Australian Open after undergoing surgery to repair her injured left wrist. She then played only one match after the U.S. Open before shutting down her season early to rest and let her wrist heal.
“I finished the U.S. Open and I was exhausted,” Keys recalled.