Halep recovers to beat Hercog, Venus wins in Miami

Monday, 2019-03-25 07:16:03
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Simona Halep of Romania reacts after winning a point against Polona Hercog of Slovenia (not pictured) in the third round of the Miami Open at Miami Open Tennis Complex. (Reuters)
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Romanian second seed Simona Halep fought back from a set down to defeat Slovenian Polona Hercog in a challenging third round match at the Miami Open on Sunday.

Hercog, ranked 93rd in the world, pushed Halep all the way in the second set but the Romanian dominated the tiebreak to turn the match around and eventually triumphed 5-7 7-6(1) 6-2.

Halep faces three-time Miami Open champion Venus Williams in the fourth round after the American won 6-3 6-1 against Russian 14th seed Daria Kasatkina, who failed to hold serve once.

World number three Halep avoided becoming the third major player to exit the tournament in two days.

Japanese world number one Naomi Osaka was stunned by 27th seeded Taiwanese Hsieh Su-wei while Serena William was forced to withdraw with a knee injury earlier on Sunday.

Halep, facing a potentially match-ending tiebreak in the second set, battled back with five consecutive points to force a deciding set against the 28-year-old Slovenian.

After lucky loser Hercog pulled within 3-2 in the concluding set, Halep won the next three games and the match.

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus broke Kasatkina eight times, losing just one game after trailing 3-2 in the opener.

So efficient was Williams that the Russian did not save a single break point as she lost every service game.

Two more seeds went out on Sunday as Latvian 11th seed Anastasija Sevastova lost 1-6 6-2 6-3 to Kazakh Yulia Putintseva, while 25th-seeded American Danielle Collins went down 7-5 6-1 to China’s Wang Yafan.

On the men’s side, defending champion John Isner unleashed 16 aces in claiming a 7-5 7-6(6) victory over determined Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the third round on Sunday.

John Isner of the United States hits a backhand against Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain (not pictured) in the third round of the Miami Open at Miami Open Tennis Complex. (Reuters)

Ramos-Vinolas broke Isner to start the match but the American saved the next four break points he faced to advance.

The seventh seed will face the UK’s 19th-seeded Kyle Edmund, who beat Canadian 12th seed Milos Raonic 6-4 6-4, in the fourth round.

Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut also advanced after upsetting 15th-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini 6-4 6-4.