Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

Denmark's Wozniacki reaches Australian Open final

Simona Halep won a memorable Australian Open semifinal against Angelique Kerber at Melbourne Park GETTY IMAGES Simona Halep won a memorable Australian Open semifinal against Angelique Kerber at Melbourne Park
Emmett Howard | 25 January, 2018, 16:36

Caroline Wozniacki has advanced to her first Australian Open final, beating Elise Mertens 6-3, 7-6 (2) in the first women's semifinal on Thursday.

She was the aggressor against Svitolina, hitting 26 winners compared to just 14 from her opponent, and wrapped up a deserved victory and a date with Caroline Wozniacki, who limped past unseeded Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0 6-7 (3) 6-2, on Thursday.

Those nerves will be tested once again in the silverware showdown, when his daughter with face current world No.1 Simona Halep, both playing with "borrowed money" in Melbourne.

'But I just tried to stay calm and I was lucky to get the win'. "Not always easy, but yeah, as it moved forward, first round, second round, I didn't really expect to be in the semis". She had two set points before Wozniacki eventually held in a service game lasting 8 ½ minutes to force a tiebreaker.

A double fault gave Mertens an opportunity to break back but Wozniacki held to 4-1 at the fifth chance after a down the line forehand victor, technically and tactically her most relevant improvement in the last couple of years, and her third ace.

But the former No 1 saved break point and won the resulting tiebreak convincingly to seal a 6-3 7-6 victory.

After blowing a pair of match points in the 10th game of the deciding set against Kerber, the exhausted top seed looked down and out trailing 6-5, 40-15 on the German's serve.

Serving the match, Mertens clinched it on her first opportunity with a backhand victor, then threw her arms up in the air in celebration. "In the second set I had the chance to close it out so I was disappointed I didn't do that", Wozniacki, who made the semi-finals in 2011, said on-court.

There'll be a British man in the Australian Open semifinals for the seventh time in nine years, but it won't be five-time finalist Murray - who skipped the season-opening tournament to have surgery on his hip.

Germany's Angelique Kerber was brought to her knees in the gruelling three-set semifinal
GETTY IMAGES Germany's Angelique Kerber was brought to her knees in the gruelling three-set semifinal

Roger Federer got cranky at the chair umpire for a technology flaw in his Australian Open quarterfinal match, using the rare emotional outburst as motivation.

"A new opportunity on Saturday, and I'm going to do my best to try and win it".

With her surprising play in Melbourne, Mertens is attracting quite a bit of attention — a new experience for a self-described "normal, quiet girl".

"Kim, thanks for watching, I knew you sent me a message before the match-don't be too stressy", said Mertens, who trains at Clijsters' academy. "I was nervous. Once she had set points".

Wozniacki was steadier than her 22-year-old opponent for much of the match, though she had her own wobbles toward the end.

Wozniacki lost U.S. Open finals to Kim Clijsters in 2009 and to Serena Williams in 2014, but it was that semifinal loss to Li that has haunted her most among her near-misses.

The Dane roared through in the breaker and booked her spot in the final. "It's going to be a tough one but I'm excited for it". "As a firm Christian, I don't support things like that, no".

Halep said she's had the top ranking before, so winning a major has become more important. "Just looking up and knowing that they're there for you, that really helps".

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