Simona Halep was pushed to the brink in a late night thriller against Sam Stosur, needing to come back from a set down and save match point to book her spot into the Miami Open quarterfinals.
WTA Staff

MIAMI, FL, USA - No.3 seed Simona Halep was pushed to the brink in a late night epic against Sam Stosur, needing to come back from a set down and save match point to book her spot into the Miami Open quarterfinals.

Halep books a blockbuster battle against Johanna Konta after emerging victorious in the two-hour-and-ten minute thriller, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.

"It was a tough match, like I expected," Halep told press after the match. "But the comeback was pretty good, and I'm really happy about that.

"The last comeback like this for me was in 2014, my first match in Doha against Kanepi. Match point down and I came back. I'm happy about this, shows I can still play some tennis."

The Romanian targeted the Aussie's backhand throughout the early exchanges in the opening set, and was rewarded with an early break. She built up a solid 4-2 lead and looked set to wrap up the opening set, but Stosur had other plans.

Stosur got her heavy topspin forehand going and wreaking havoc on Halep's game plan, and reeled off four straight games to snatch away the opening set. She went on a tear in the second, recovering from an early break and winning five of the next six games to serve for the match.

She even held a match point, at 5-4 on Halep's serve, but the Romanian chose that moment to start mounting her epic comeback. A handful of loose errors from Stosur on key moments let Halep back into the set, and she took the next seven games in a row to take the second set and a break lead in the third.

With Stosur flagging and letting her aggression dip slightly, it was Halep who bossed the rallies and dictated play to extend the lead to 4-1. The Aussie didn't have another comeback left in her, and Halep completed the comeback to move into the Miami quarterfinals.

"When I was down, I wasn't thinking about anything, nothing about the score," Halep said. "I just wanted to fight. I didn't give up, and I believed in my chance. I was maybe a little bit lucky because I came back from match point down, but still I fought for this."

Halep will be rewarded for her efforts with another battle in the next round, this time against Britain's No.1, Konta.

"It will be tough. She's in a good form now, she's near Top 10. And she plays great. It's going to be a tough one, but here every match is tough so I don't expect an easy one.

"I have my chance here to try my best and try to win, and of course tomorrow will help me to recover. Then I will go on court with confidence."