MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Romanian second seed Simona Halep won five consecutive games to come back from the brink to defeat local hope Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6 6-4 7-5 in an error-strewn match to advance to the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.
Twice Grand Slam winner Halep came into the match with a 3-0 career record against the 27-year-old Australian, ranked 72nd, but found it difficult to pave a way past Tomljanovic’s all-or-nothing approach in front of a boisterous Melbourne Court Arena.
After sharing the honours in the first two sets, Tomljanovic surged ahead with a break and a 5-2 lead in the decider only for former world number one Halep to stage a stunning comeback by winning the next five games.
The match saw the players commit over 90 unforced errors and the 29-year-old Romanian put an end to the contest by converting her second match point with a forehand winner.
Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Ken Ferris