MELBOURNE: Romanian second seed Simona Halep gained 5 consecutive video games to come back again from the brink to defeat native hope Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6 6-4 7-5 in an error-strewn match to advance to the third spherical of the Australian Open on Wednesday.
Twice Grand Slam winner Halep got here into the match with a 3-0 profession document towards the 27-year-old Australian, ranked 72nd, however discovered it troublesome to pave a well past Tomljanovic’s all-or-nothing method in entrance of a boisterous Melbourne Court Arena.
Halep appeared set to hitch fellow Grand Slam winners Petra Kvitova, Venus Williams and Bianca Andreescu in exiting the yr’s first main on Wednesday when Tomljanovic took a 5-2 lead within the deciding set.
But with only a sport away from defeat, she began taking part in extra freely and managed to discover a approach again into the match.
“It was an incredible match,” Halep advised reporters. “She performed unbelievable. But I fought until the tip. I by no means gave up, and that’s why possibly I might win ultimately.
“Honestly I’m actually comfortable and happy with what I did right this moment on court docket, for the combat.”
Both gamers went toe-to-toe from the beginning with some highly effective hitting from the baseline however Tomljanovic punished Halep’s weak second serve and performed a couple of pleasant drop photographs to wrest the opening set.
Halep reduce down on her errors within the second to stage the match at 1-1 earlier than the Australian, buoyed by the assist from the group, surged forward within the decider.
Halep then staged a shocking comeback by successful the ultimate 5 video games and ended the competition by changing her second match level with a forehand winner, her twenty eighth of the match.
Tomljanovic hit 9 extra winners than Halep but additionally had 20 extra unforced errors than Halep’s 37 which in the end proved to be the distinction.
“She did precisely what I anticipated. She raised her stage. Didn’t give me a lot until the tip,” a distraught Tomljanovic stated. “It’s laborious, very laborious to speak about it proper now and see any kind of positives.”
The 2018 Melbourne Park finalist will tackle Russian thirty second seed Veronika Kudermetova for a spot within the fourth spherical.