Halep bounces back to beat Hercog in marathon
No.2 seed Simona Halep of Romania came back from the brink at the Miami Open on Sunday, edging past lucky loser Polona Hercog of Slovenia, 5-7, 7-6(1), 6-2, to squeak into the fourth round.
“It was not easy at all,” Halep said, during her post-match press conference. “I think the level was very, very high. [Hercog] played unbelievable. If she keeps playing like this, she can be Top 20 easy. I think it was a great match for both of us. I’m really happy I could win it in the end. It was a lot of effort today.”
World No.3 Halep, whose best Miami result is a semifinal loss to Serena Williams in 2015, now finds herself in the round of 16 for the fourth time in the last five years. There, she will face three-time Miami Open champion Venus Williams, who dispatched No.14 seed Daria Kasatkina on Sunday. They have split their six meetings, but Halep has won their last three matches after losing the first three.
“It’s always tough against Venus,” Halep admitted. “I’m not going to say that it’s going to be easier because I won the last matches against her. I will be motivated, I will be ready to play. Hopefully I will be 100 percent tomorrow. Why not, I will believe that I have the chance. Still, I will stay focused.”
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