Australian Open

Halep limps into 4th round

2015-01-23 08:01
Simona Halep (AFP)

Melbourne - Romanian third seed Simona Halep limped into the Australian Open fourth round on Friday, struggling to overcome American world number 258 Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

The 23-year-old, a quarter-finalist at Melbourne Park last year, eventually prevailed 6-4, 7-5 to set up a fourth-round showdown with Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer.

Victory seemed assured when Halep took the first set and was 5-1 up in the second but the Romanian could not close out the never-say-die American veteran.

"It was a tough match, it was very hot outside," a relieved Halep said. "She played really well today(Friday).

"I played well, but it wasn't easy to finish the match. I was pleased to finish in two (sets)."

Halep said temperatures approaching 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) made conditions difficult.

Despite her unconvincing performance, she remained full of confidence about her chances at the season-opening Grand slam, saying that reaching the French Open final and Wimbledon semi last year had bolstered her self belief.

"I have more confidence now during the Grand Slams and I believe I have my chance at every tournament," she said.

Read more on:    australian open  |  simona halep  |  tennis

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