Australian Open 2018: Simona Halep Survives Marathon Upset Bid; Madison Keys Quietly Advances

Simona Halep exhausted after win (click to enlarge)

After Madison Keys won her third round match at the 2018 Australian Open I was going to make this post about how the young American was flying under the radar while others were spoken of as favorites for the women’s singles title. I suppose you could say that I just did that. Madison Keys has looked very good but now she runs into a couple of very big challenges. First up is Caroline Garcia who was as hot as anybody at the end of last year. Maddie will have her hands full with the French woman. Even if Keys gets by Garcia, there’s a very good chance that waiting for her might be Angelique Kerber who dismissed Maria Sharapova in straight sets rather easily. Okay, that concludes my Madison Keys report for the day. And I will have a separate Maria Sharapova post later today. Now let’s get on to the match of the tournament so far. Simona Halep and Lauren Davis treated tennis fans to an epic instant classic. In the end, their three-set Marathon was decided 15-13 in the final set for the world number one. But to get to that point, Simona had to overcome a fierce challenge from the American, including being down triple match point on her own serve. It was probably lucky that Simona was down those match points on her own serve because had she been down triple match point on Lauren’s serve the young Romanian superstar might be on her way to the airport tonight. The question now becomes after a 4-6 6-4 15-13 Marathon match where Simona was clearly exhausted and even joked that she was close to dead after the match, what shape will she be in should her next opponent really push her. By the way, that next opponent is the up-and-coming Naomi Osaka. Although Halep is one of my favorites, so is Osaka. My rooting interest in that match will be very divided. And should the rising Japanese star come out and play Simona the way she played Ashleigh Barty, it could make for a very interesting match. I can’t wait to see it.








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