Australian Open: ‘Almost dead’ Halep joins Thiem in last 16

first_imgFans fill up Philippine Arena for SEA Games opening PLAY LIST 01:02Fans fill up Philippine Arena for SEA Games opening00:412 buses bound for SEA Games opening collide in Bulacan01:26Filipino culture takes spotlight as 2019 SEA Games officially opens02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Maria Sharapova will be centre stage on Rod Laver Arena against Angelique Kerber later in a fascinating encounter between the only two Australian Open winners left in the women’s draw.Both are 30, former world number ones and in good form.“I look forward to these matches. I want to be playing against opponents that are former Grand Slam champions,” said Sharapova, who is looking to rediscover her best on her way back from a 15-month drugs ban.Whoever wins will face either Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska or Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Romania’s Simona Halep celebrates after defeating United States’ Lauren Davis in their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)World number one Simona Halep saved three match points to survive a titanic struggle and make the last 16 at the Australian Open Saturday where she joined Karolina Pliskova and Dominic Thiem.With the temperatures a manageable 26 Celsius (79 Farenheit) at Melbourne Park after two days of oven-like conditions, the Romanian looked out for the count against American Lauren Davis.ADVERTISEMENT Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours LATEST STORIES OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Halep, a former quarter-finalist at Melbourne Park who slumped out in the first round last year, will next play Australian Ashleigh Barty or Japan’s Naomi Osaka in her quest for a maiden Grand Slam title.Sixth seed Pliskova also had a tough test, beating fellow Czech Lucie Safarova 7-6 (8/6), 7-5.In contrast, US Open finalist Madison Keys was in fine touch as she benefits from the guidance of former great Lindsay Davenport.Flying under the radar, the 17th seed has surrendered just 16 games on her way to the fourth round after beating Romania’s Ana Bogdan 6-3, 6-4.“Lindsay is amazing. We’ve had three years together and she has taught me how to handle big moments like this,” said Keys, who made the Australian Open semis in 2015.ADVERTISEMENT She will next test herself against French eighth seed Garcia, who was too strong for Belarussian Alaksandra Sasnovich, winning in three sets.“I haven’t done too well against her before and I want to improve,” Garcia said of Keys.Play the bestAmong men going through was Austrian fifth seed Thiem who beat France’s Adrian Mannarino in straight sets.He now faces unheralded American Tennys Sandgren, who had never won a Grand Slam match before this year’s Australian Open.Another Melbourne Park debutant Marton Fucsovics is also enjoying his best ever Grand Slam, with the Hungarian seeing off Argentine Nicolas Kicker to set up a potential plum clash with Roger Federer.The 19-time Grand Slam winner holds court in an evening match, as does Novak Djokovic.The two greats of the game — who have won 11 Australian Opens between them — could meet in the last four if they maintain their winning ways, but both have tricky third-round tests. The Swiss defending champion headlines Rod Laver Arena in the evening against France’s Richard Gasquet.On Margaret Court Arena, Djokovic, who admits he is still not 100 percent as he returns from six months out with an elbow injury, needs to find a way past 21st seeded Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas.center_img But she finally got over the line 4-6, 6-4, 15-13 in a gruelling 3hr 44min on Rod Laver Arena to make the fourth round in a contest that took its toll.“I’m almost dead,” the tenacious Romanian said after the incredible battle, in which Davis lost a toenail and Halep served for the match four times.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“The feeling in my muscles is gone and I don’t feel my ankle anymore,” she added.Davis is ranked just 76 in the world and was knocked out in the first round of all four Grand Slams last year, but you would never have known it. 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