MELBOURNE, January 25, 2018
Simona Halep saved two match points to defeat Germany’s Angelique Kerber 6-3, 4-6, 9-7 in Thursday’s night session on Rod Laver Arena to reach the final of the Australian Open. In a thrilling encounter, the World No. 1 hit 50 winners and broke serve nine times to seal victory in two hours and 20 minutes.
“I’m shaking now, I’m really emotional. I’m really glad I could resist and win this match,” Halep said during her on-court interview. “I will fight for every point and not rest until I finish this tournament. So next week, I will rest.” The 26-year-old will be the first Romanian woman to appear in the final of the Australian Open.
Earlier in the day, former World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki became the first to book her spot in the final, serving through a late-match hiccup to defeat 22-year-old Belgian Elise Mertens of Belgium, 6-3, 7-6, making her first title match at a major since 2014, her third overall as well as her first outside the US Open.
“It means so much to me. I got really tight at 5-4. I was here in a semifinal in 2011 and had a match point against Li Na and lost it. That was in my mind today, I just tried to stay calm,” Wozniacki told during her on-court interview.
“It was kind of like when I played in Toronto six times and I’d never won a match. That first round match that I played in Toronto, I was nervous serving it out, even though I was up 6-2, 5-0. I was like, ‘Okay, I can do this.’ When I won, something just disappeared. I said, ‘Okay, thankfully now I can actually win here.’ Then I went all the way to the finals,” the 27-year-old Danish added.
Halep and Wozniacki are both playing in their third Grand Slam final. The winner will walk away with their maiden Grand Slam trophy and the World No. 1 ranking.