Simona Halep ‘happy and proud’ with her fighting spirit as she toughs it out against Ajla Tomlanovic

Australian Open
Simona Halep pumped

She found herself staring down the barrel as she was 2-5 down in the decider, but Simona Halep got her act together to prevail in three sets against Ajla Tomljanovic.

Halep was the clear favourite heading into the match, but it was the world No 72 who was on top as she claimed the first set before the Romanian hit back in the second to take it to a decider. And it looked like Tomljanovic would get a famous upset win only for Halep to come back from the dead to win 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and 35 minutes.

World No 2 Halep admits she got out of jail after getting a bit too tense during the match.

“It was an amazing match,” she said. “She played unbelievable. But I fought till the end. I never gave up during the match, and that’s why maybe I could win in the end.

“I’m really happy and proud of what I did today on court for the fighting that I did.

“I think I got relaxed a little bit more. I talked to my team after the match, and they told me that I should have played like I did those games, because my arms were more relaxed and the ball was going a little bit deeper.

“I didn’t realise that, but, you know, it’s good that I ended like that and I got the confidence that I still can win these tough matches.”

Next up is Russian 32nd seed Veronika Kudermetova.

“It’s going to be a new challenge, I will watch a little bit of video like I do every time I face someone I didn’t play before,” Halep said.

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