Halep battles past Babos at US Open

Fifth-seeded Simona Halep of Romania secured her place in the last 16 of the US Open by beating Hungary's Timea Babos in three sets on Saturday in New York.

Halep avoided a third-round upset by winning 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in a match lasting over two hours.

Next up for Halep is 11th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain who defeated Russian Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-3 earlier in the day.

After winning the opening set 6-1 in 24 minutes, Halep then lost the second set 6-2 after being broken third, fifth and seventh games.

The 34th-ranked Babos had previously been knocked out in the opening round in four previous visits to Flushing Meadows.

In the third set, Babos never let up and broke Halep's serve in the opening game to lead 3-1 at one stage but the fifth seed fought back to break serve in the sixth game and then again in the 10th game when Babos double-faulted on match point to hand Halep the set and match 6-4.

"I don’t know how I came back," Halep told reporters afterwards. "I felt like I didn’t play my best but I was fighting to the end for every ball.

"I was trying to push her back. I was trying to run for every ball. I did everything I could today and I’m really happy I could finish the match in my way."

And in another third round match fourth seed, Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland cruised past French 25th seed Caroline Garcia 6-2, 6-3 in convincing fashion.