ADVANCE AT AUSTRALIAN OPEN
Ashley Marshall | January 20, 2018
The U.S. will be represented by Tennys Sandgren and Madison Keys in the second week of the Australian Open after an exciting Day 6 in Melbourne.
Sandgren (pictured above) rallied from a set down to defeat Germany’s Maximilian Marterer, 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, 7-6, on Saturday, while No. 17 seed Keys vanquished Ana Bogdan of Romania, 6-3, 6-4.
Sandgren’s reward is a Round-of-16 clash with fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem. Keys will face No. 8 seed Caroline Garcia of France on Monday for a place in the quarterfinals.
Sandgren, 26, had never won a main-draw match at a Grand Slam prior to this week, but he’s now won three in a row, and his ranking will soar to a new career-high when the updated positions are announced after the tournament.
In a battle of players separated by just three spots in the rankings, the 94th-ranked Marterer edged a 42-minute first set before Sandgren, ranked No. ADVERTISEMENT 97, leveled the match behind a lone break in the second.
The American continued to cruise through his own service games – he won 27 consecutive points on serve at one point – and he broke Marterer at 5-5 to take a 2-1 lead. Neither player was able to convert the only break point they earned in the fourth set – Marterer in the fourth game, Sandgren in the seventh – but Sandgren raced out to a 3-0 lead in the tiebreak and never trailed again, as he advanced to Round 4.
He'll be joined in the fourth round by Keys, who won 79 percent of points on her first serve and recorded 29 winners to Bogdan’s six.
The American took control of the match behind a pivotal break to earn a 5-3 lead in the opening set, and she broke again in Bogdan’s second service game in set No. 2 to establish a lead she would never relinquish.
Bogdan had a chance to get back into the match in the very last game, but Keys saved all three break points – the only ones she faced in the match – to hold serve and wrap up the victory.
Elsewhere on Day 6, Lauren Davis played the match of her career before falling to world No. 1 Simona Halep, 6-4, 4-6, 15-13, in three hours, 45 minutes. It was the longest women’s match of the tournament and the third-longest women’s match in Australian Open history.
Davis had three match points on Halep’s serve at 0-40 in the 22nd game of the final set, but it was the top seed who eventually prevailed on her first match point after she broke Davis to establish a 14-13 advantage.
Bernarda Pera, the first lucky loser to reach the third round of the Australian Open since Sandra Kleinova in 1997, saw her remarkable run come to an end against No. 20 seed Barbora Strycova, 6-2, 6-2.