World No.2 Simona Halep avoided a huge surprise in the second round after being tested by Australian Ajla Tomljanovic.
Halep tonight dropped the opening set and was forced back into the game, with a relentless Tomljanovic proving a difficult task for the two-time Grand Slam winner.
Still looking to add an Australian Open title to her trophy cabinet, Halep looked doomed when she trailed 5-3 in the third set as Tomljanovic served for the game.
But the Romanian superstar somehow found a way, breaking down to ultimately avoid a major upset and win 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.
“I actually expected her to play really hard and really hard,” Halep said after the game.
“It was more than I expected. I’m really happy that I can smile now.”
Although Tomljanovic’s loss was difficult to deal with, admitting that she couldn’t take too much advantage of the game after blowing up a golden opportunity.
“It is difficult, very difficult to talk about it now and to see positive aspects,” she told reporters.
“At the end of the day all I wanted to do was win in any way, even though it was the worst tennis ever. I think it’s my emotions that speak now.
“I know it was a high level game, but in the end I lost – so that’s kind of the dominant feeling.
“I felt like I was incredibly close. But at the same time, I knew she would never make it easy for me. She did exactly what I expected.
“She raised her level. Didn’t give me much until the end.”