Sport Tennis Australian Open The Daily Deuce: Halep sleep-deprived but on a mission
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The Daily Deuce: Halep sleep-deprived but on a mission

Simona Halep
Simona Halep had trouble sleeping after her marathon matches this week. Photo: AAP
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Top seed Simona Halep revealed she “couldn’t sleep” due to pain only hours before she booked her spot in the quarter-finals at the Australian Open.

Halep has been managing an ankle injury at Melbourne Park and played out the third-longest women’s singles match in tournament history on Saturday.

And the Romanian opened up on just how much the problem is affecting her after beating Japan’s Naomi Osaka in straight sets on Monday.

“Last night was really tough. I couldn’t sleep. I had pain everywhere,” Halep said.

“But I slept before the match, two hours … perfect, perfect hours. I was, like, fresh after that. I felt good.

“Ankle is still sore. But, you know, I’m not thinking about that anymore.

“I saw that I can win matches with it, so now I’m not that stressed anymore.

“Maybe I get used to the pain and I’m not thinking that much that something can happen.”

Tennys blows up

American Tennys Sandgren has been one of the stories of the tournament.

The world No.97, who beat Stanislas Wawrinka in straight sets in round two, booked his spot in the last eight after upsetting fifth seed Dominic Thiem in five sets, 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (7-9) 6-3.

But he was seething during the third set after claiming a member of Thiem’s players’ box was clapping as he got ready to serve.

“I’m right here to serve. That’s ridiculous. In a players’ box,” Sandgren told the umpire.

“When I say someone in the crowd’s making noise, you say: ‘I don’t know’.

“When someone’s doing it directly to inhibit me, ‘Oh, I don’t know. Good luck’. That’s pretty cool.”

When the umpire told Sandgren she could not locate the clapper, he responded: “There’s one person clapping in a sea of 2000 people.

“You have no idea where it came from? Wow … that’s insane.

“You haven’t said anything. Somebody’s done something and you’ve not stopped them from doing it again. That’s what I’m saying.

“There was no repercussions for doing it on a break point, second serve … no repercussions.

“Nothing happened … why would he not do it again?”

The quote

“I don’t have a plan.

“My boyfriend was looking [at] her game earlier … I forgot to ask him what she play [like].

“So, I actually have no plan to go on the court.”

Su-Wei Hsieh opened up on her very unique preparation against former world No.1 Angelique Kerber.

Hsieh started brightly, winning the opening set, but was eventually beaten in three.

The photo

Just days after Nick Kyrgios met a hero of his, Will Smith, another Aussie sports star experienced the same joy.

This time it was Australia cricket captain Steve Smith, widely regarded as the best batsman in the world.

Smith has been a long-time – and very public – admirer of Roger Federer so he was no doubt delighted to catch up with the Swiss maestro.

The stat (s)

Federer’s straight-sets win over Marton Fucsovics was notable for many reasons.

Not only was it the 14th time in 15 years that the 19-time grand slam winner has made it to the Australian Open quarter-finals, but in doing so, he also became the oldest man to reach the last eight since Ken Rosewall in 1967.

The match was Federer’s first against a Hungarian on the tennis tour since 2002.

His opponent that day? Fucsovics’ coach, Atilla Savolt.

Tuesday’s action

Top seed Rafael Nadal will face his toughest challenge yet when big-serving Croatian Marin Cilic meets him on Rod Laver Arena in the night session.

Cilic, seeded sixth, has lost his past five meetings against Nadal but will enter the much-anticipated clash in good form.

Grigor Dimitrov will play the unseeded Kyle Edmund in the other men’s singles quarter-final.

In the women’s singles, both Caroline Wozniacki (seeded second) and Elina Svitolina (fourth) will also face unseeded players.

Wozniacki will come up against Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro, while Svitolina faces Elise Bertens.

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