2015 Australian Open Simona Halep too good for Bethanie Mattek-Sands

She struggled to close it out, but Simona Halep did eventually claim victory over Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

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Simona Halep moved into the Australian Open fourth round despite a late hiccup against Bethanie Mattek-Sands on Friday.

The Romanian third seed was largely untroubled until late in her 6-4 7-5 victory in Melbourne.

It was a strong win for last year's French Open runner-up, with Mattek-Sands' power capable of doing damage.

In the end, Halep's power and consistency were decisive " despite struggling to close after holding a 5-2 lead in the second set.

The 23-year-old finished with 29 winners and 25 unforced errors, while Mattek-Sands' 33 unforced errors were costly.

After both players had wasted break points, Halep broke first as Mattek-Sands sent an overhead well long to fall 4-3 behind.

Mattek-Sands pushed but was unable to break back, as Halep clinched the set with an ace.

The opening game of the second set took nine minutes, but Halep broke with a forehand winner.

Another break, this time to love, followed in the fifth game as Halep took a 4-1 second-set lead following a Mattek-Sands double fault.

Halep failed to serve out the match at the first time of asking, and Mattek-Sands held to love to put some pressure on.

The pressure told as Halep fell into a 0-30 hole and, when she hit a forehand into the net, Mattek-Sands had broken again and levelled the set at 5-5.

Halep broke again for a 6-5 lead, though, and this time she made no mistake as a forehand winner gave her victory.

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