MELBOURNE — Madison Keys is through to the fourth round of the Australian Open after starting Saturday’s program on Margaret Court Arena with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Ana Bogdan.
The 17th-seeded Keys, who lost in the US Open final last year to Sloane Stephens, saved three break points serving for the match, finally clinching it on her first match point when Bogdan netted a backhand.
Keys missed last year’s Australian Open after undergoing surgery to repair her injured left wrist. She then played only one match after the US Open before shutting down her season early to let the wrist heal. It’s helped her start the new season feeling mentally fresh, as well.
‘‘I finished the US Open and I was exhausted,’’ she said. ‘‘So as amazing as that run was, the combination of being exhausted from that and having a wrist that still wasn’t 100 percent perfect, I just needed to kind of shut it down, calm down, and then I was really excited to start the new season.’’
Keys is the only one of the four American women who reached the semifinals at the US Open last September still in contention in Melbourne — Stephens, Venus Williams, and CoCo Vandeweghe were all eliminated in the first round.
Top-seeded Simona Halep served for the match four times before prevailing. 4-6, 6-4, 15-13, over American Lauren Davis in a marathon match at Rod Laver Arena. Halep saved three match points in the 22nd game of the third set at 0-40 and Davis saved five break points in the 23rd game in the 3 hour, 45-minute match.
Sixth-seeded Karolina Pliskova had 11 aces and beat No. 29 Lucie Safarova 7-6 (8-6), 7-5 in a match featuring just one service break.
On Friday, with Will Smith in the crowd and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga across the net, Nick Kyrgios was in his element as the main attraction for a night at the Australian Open.
Time to put on a show.
One of his favorite actors — Smith was making his Grand Slam debut as a spectator — watched Friday as Kyrgios held his composure to beat childhood hero Tsonga, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-5) in the third round. The 17th-seeded Kyrgios won the last 5 points after falling behind 5-2 in the tiebreaker.
For an Australian public desperate to see a first home-grown winner of the men’s national title since 1976, a seemingly reinvigorated Kyrgios could be the redemption story of the tournament.
‘‘Playing Jo, I was obviously very nervous. He was a guy I looked up to as a kid. Still do,’’ Kyrgios said in an on-court interview, recounting how he brought a ball to be signed by Tsonga every day when the Frenchman reached the Australian Open final in 2008.
Then he gave a nod to Smith, the actor he would pick to play the role of Kyrgios if there was a movie to be made.
‘‘When I saw him out here I was so nervous. No joke,’’ Kyrgios said. ‘‘People think I'm cool, but I wanted him to think I was the coolest person ever.’’
Cool was the optimal word late on Day 5, when a threatening heat wave subsided and no matches were suspended despite searing temperatures hitting 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) at Melbourne Park for a second straight day.
The Kyrgios-Tsonga match pushed top-ranked Rafael Nadal onto the No. 2 court at Melbourne Park for his match against Damir Dzumhur.
The change of scenery worked for Nadal, who lost last year’s final to Roger Federer before going on to win the French Open and US Open titles. Nadal reached the fourth round in Australia for the 11th time with the 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 win. He will next play No. 24 Diego Schwartzman, who beat Aleksandr Dolgopolov 6-7 (1-7), 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.
The other French Open champion, Jelena Ostapenko, followed Nadal on Margaret Court Arena but didn’t make it through to the second week, losing, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3, to 32nd-seeded Anett Kontaveit.
Fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina ended 15-year-old Marta Kostyuk’s run with a 6-2, 6-2 victory. Kostyuk entered the tournament ranked No. 521 and her wins in the first two rounds made her the youngest player to win main-draw matches at the Australian Open since Martina Hingis in 1996.