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Australian Open: Lauren Davis tired but upbeat after marathon loss to Simona Halep

Lauren Davis helped equal the Australian Open women’s record for the most games played in her epic third-round loss to Simona Halep.

tennis Updated: Jan 20, 2018 11:50 IST
By Sacha Pisani
By Sacha Pisani
Omnisport, Melbourne
Australian Open,Lauren Davis,Simona Halep
Lauren Davis (R) lost to top seed Simona Halep 6-4, 4-6, 13-15 in the third round of the Australian Open. (Twitter )

Lauren Davis played a part in Australian Open history Saturday and the unheralded American is determined to build on her performance, despite bowing out in memorable fashion at Melbourne Park.

Davis helped equal the Australian Open women’s record for the most games played in her epic 4-6, 6-4, 15-13 third-round loss to world number one Simona Halep.

(Read | Australian Open: Simona Halep, top seed, survives epic scare to enter fourth round)

The colossal battle on Rod Laver Arena – finishing 15 minutes short of four hours – lasted 48 games, matching the tournament record set by Chanda Rubin and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1996.

Davis, who had three match points at 11-10 in the final set, having prevented Halep from serving it out on three occasions, was exhausted but still upbeat post-match.

(Read | Karolina Pliskova serves her way past Lucie Safarova into Rd 4 of Australian Open tennis)

“I’m very tired. But there is a lot to take away from that match,” the unseeded 24-year-old told reporters after being forced to answer questions about Cleveland and Cavaliers star LeBron James following the gruelling encounter. “I played really, really well. Left all that I had out there on the court.

“I did all that I could do. I think there is quite a few positives to take away from and to learn from, so things are looking up.

(Read | Australian Open tennis: Hollywood’s Will Smith hooked after Nick Kyrgios classic)

“I have never played a match like that before where it went so long in the third set. We were both fighting our hearts out, and every point was just super long.

“I got to the point where I was so tired where I just told myself to swing and move, and for the most part it was very effective. Because I didn’t really feel any pressure or anything.

(Read | Leander Paes-Purav Raja enter 3rd round of Australian Open after thrilling three-set game)

“I was definitely aware of what a great match it was, but for the most part, I was dialled in. I was in the zone and trying to focus on what it was I had to do in that next point in order to be successful. It was definitely a very exciting moment for me.”

She continued: “That third set was nothing really like I had ever played before, such an amazing atmosphere. It’s definitely something to build on, because there is many more to come.

“I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I appreciate all of their support. It just really pumps you up and gets you going. Especially when the score is like that and three-and-a-half hours into the match.”

Davis’ performance in the final set was particularly impressive, given she lost a toenail chasing down a shot from Halep, who served for the match at 5-4, 6-5 and 8-7 before eventually sealing her spot in the fourth round.

“It was definitely unfortunate, the timing of it. I think my second toes are just a bit infected,” she said. “I was just jamming them a lot with how much I was moving around the court. That first match point just, I felt something and I couldn’t really put any pressure. It was my right toe, and then it eventually was my left toe.”

First Published: Jan 20, 2018 11:50 IST