Thursday 22 March 2018

Halep proves her worth in pain game

Simona Halep. Photo: Reuters
Simona Halep. Photo: Reuters

Simona Halep, the world No 1, has yet to win a Grand Slam but she has shown the heart of a champion in Melbourne, fighting her way through to the quarter-finals despite a badly injured ankle.

Halep rolled an ankle in her opening match against Destanee Aiava, but still survived a record-equalling 3-hour 44-minute shootout with Lauren Davis in the third round.

And yesterday, she reminded her rivals that she is still very much in the mix by thrashing Naomi Osaka - an opponent no one enjoys playing because of her heavy and unpredictable strokes - 6-3, 6-2.

Halep, who had a two-hour nap before the match, having been unable to sleep the previous night because of the pain in her ankle, won six of the last seven games to earn a quarter-final meeting with Karolina Pliskova.

Earlier in the day, 2016 champion Angelique Kerber, who is the last Grand Slam winner left in the draw, survived a stern test against the deft and wily Hsieh Su-wei of Chinese Taipei.

Kerber now faces Madison Keys, who beat eighth seed Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-2.

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport