Overnight: Simona Halep wins marathon thriller

Overnight: Simona Halep wins marathon thriller

Not surprisingly, points became far shorter than at any other stage of the match Halep broke to 14-13 and could finally celebrate her 12th Grand Slam fourth round.

"I've never played a third set that long before".

It equaled the longest women's singles match at the Australian Open in terms of games played - Chanda Rubin's win over Arantxa Shanchez Vicario in 1996 was also 48 games - but was nearly an hour shorter in duration than the record 4:44 that Francesca Schiavone needed to beat Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2011.

"Honestly, I thought it's over at that moment, but was good because I relaxed my arm and I served pretty well those three balls", Halep said.

"I just feel that my muscles are gone", she added.

"I was sweating more watching that match than I was with my match", said a smiling Osaka.

"It was nice to be in this match and again to be in fourth round of this tournament is great". Halep wasted chances to serve for the match in the ninth, 11th and 15th games, then had to save three match points in the 22nd.

Keys, who missed last year's Australian Open after undergoing surgery on her injured left wrist, will next play the victor of Saturday's match between Aliaksandra Sasnovich and No. 8 seed Caroline Garcia.

Meanwhile, exhausted following her record-equalling marathon against Lauren Davis at the Australian Open, world number one Simona Halep only wanted to think about sleep and chocolate.

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James explained why he doesn't think the season has been like a roller coaster - start 6-6 then win 18 of 19 and now drop 9 of 12. That pick will likely end up in the top 10, and Brooklyn is only 3.5 games ahead of the Orlando Magic for the NBA's worst record.

The big match Saturday had the only two women's major champions left in the tournament playing each other - 2008 Australian victor Maria Sharapova vs. 2016 Melbourne Park champion Angelique Kerber.

Courageous unseeded American Lauren Davis lost a middle toenail on her left foot and had to be treated twice by the physio as she threw everything at Halep in a third set that alone lasted 2hr 22min.

Despite seeing an early break lead retrieved by her Russian opponent Kerber recovered to secure a second break of serve in the set before closing out the match in assured fashion to reach the last 16 where she will meet either Hsieh Su-Wei or Agnieszka Radwanska.

"I haven't done too well against her before and I want to improve", Garcia said of Keys.

Halep will play the victor of the match between 18th-seeded Ashleigh Barty of Australia and Naomi Osaka of Japan in the fourth round. "After this match I think tomorrow is gonna be worse, but I just push, push myself, and we will see what's gonna happen".

The same can be said for Zverev, who has been hailed as the leader of the tennis new guard but has now failed to go beyond the fourth round in 11 Grand Slams.

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

And No 8 seed Caroline Garcia emerged as the victor of the second match in the Margaret Court Arena while the first in the Rod Laver Arena continued, the Frenchwoman beating Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-3 5-7 6-2.

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