Halep survives; Zverev bows out

Davis is ranked 76th in the world but did brilliantly to take the first set against Halep

The Australian Open top seed hailed the "new Simona" Halep after saving three match points for the first time in her career to survive an epic 15-13 in the third set on Saturday.

Romanian Halep finally served out the match after breaking Davis' defences to move 14-13 clear, and she sealed victory two hours and 22 minutes after the deciding set began.

"I never played a third set so long. I'm nearly dead", the Romanian said after finally edging across the finish line. "I think today she played the highest level in tennis, and her backhand was just too good sometimes". I was just jamming them a lot with how much I was moving around the court. I'm pretty sure she hasn't played a match like that before.

Elsewhere, Czech sixth seed Karolina Pliskova beat compatriot Lucie Safarova 7-6 (8-6) 7-5 to reach round four.

The colossal battle on Rod Laver Arena - finishing 15 minutes short of four hours - lasted 48 games, matching the tournament record set by Chanda Rubin and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1996.

US Open finalist Madison Keys sent a message that her 2017 season-end form was no fluke, running roughshod over Romanian Ana Bogdan to make the last 16. Prior to play in Sydney, she also performed well at this year's Hopman Cup.

The American smashed 52 winners and was warmly commiserated on her way off centre court.




The 2016 Australian Open victor routed Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-3 in the third-round match on Saturday night, meaning she'll be the only Grand Slam champion in the fourth round of the women's draw. "Leonardo is a player with big potential", said Nadal, who won the French and U.S. Opens past year but had his preparation for Australia delayed because of an injured right knee. "After this match I think tomorrow is gonna be worse, but I just push, push myself, and we will see what's gonna happen".

After enduring a first set arm wrestle, Keys converted a fourth-break point chance at 4-3 to go ahead. "Anybody who knows me knows I never give up".

Tsonga rallied from 5-2 in the fifth to overcome Denis Shapovalov 3-6, 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5 in a 3-hour, 37-minute match that contained one of his nonchalant between-the-legs shots on an important point.

Maria Sharapova has advanced to the third round, beating Anastasija Sevastova 6-1, 7-6 (4) as the temperatures began to rise at Melbourne Park. "She's always unsafe, especially at the Grand Slams", Kerber said.

Halep will meet either Australia's Ash Barty or Japan's Naomi Osaka in the fourth round.

Fourth seed Zverev lost 7-5, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 3-6, 0-6. There are still plenty of top women's contenders in the bracket, including second seed Caroline Wozniacki, who is playing quite well.

On the last match of the night on Margaret Court Arena, Radwanska became upset with Hsieh's preoccupation with having moths removed from the court by ballboys and ballgirls, suggesting to the chair umpire that they shouldn't bother because the insects were "everywhere" on the court.

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