Wozniacki soars into No. 1 vs. No. 2 Australian Open final against Halep

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It will be No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the Australian Open final on Saturday night. But it will be even more than that. Way more.

Either Simona Halep or Caroline Wozniacki will lift her first Grand Slam winner’s trophy after they clash in the title match this weekend. Additionally, the winner will end the tournament with the No. 1 ranking–either Halep will maintain it or Wozniacki will snatch it from her grasp.

The No. 1-vs.-No. 2 blockbuster battle became a reality after Wozniacki and Halep earned respective semifinal wins–in very different fashions–on Thursday afternoon. Unsurprisingly, Wozniacki vs. Elise Mertens turned out to be the appetizer to the main course that was Halep vs. Angelique Kerber.

That’s not to say, however, that Wozniacki vs. Mertens was a snooze-fest. Far from it. Mertens, the obvious underdog playing in her first major semifinal, almost got run off the court early but she managed to to turn things around and make this contest a competitive one. The Belgian broke serve to stay alive late in the second set and eventually forced a tiebreaker, which Wozniacki ended up dominating seven points to two. That propelled the second seed across the finish line for a 6-3, 7-6(2) victory.

“I think I was nervous,” Wozniacki said of getting broken for the first time all afternoon while serving for victory at 5-4 in the second. “I didn’t do much wrong for the first three points of that game. I served two good serves, then I had that forehand down the line which I missed by a couple of millimeters. It was 30-15 instead of 40-love. All of a sudden, yeah, it just turned around.

“But I managed to just gather myself and thankfully closed it out in the end.”

“Caroline was really good today,” Mertens said. “I mean, she hit her serves, her groundstrokes were pretty aggressive. So, yeah, it’s a mixed feeling. Of course you lost the match, but of course also I’m very happy that I’m in the semifinal–that I reach a semifinal for the first time.”

When asked what she learned about herself this fortnight, Mertens responded, “I think that anything is possible. The belief in yourself. Also (in my) second match, I was 5-love down…. think that anything is possible in tennis.”

Wozniacki wouldn’t disagree. In a second-round thriller of her own, she trailed unheralded Jana Fett 5-1, 40-15 in the third set–with Fett serving at double-match point. The Dane managed to escape that deficit, of course, and she took the last six games of the match. The rest…at least so far…is history.

“I’m really happy and proud of how I’ve managed to turn things around when things weren’t going my way and keep it up whenever it was going my way,” Wozniacki reflected. “I’m just excited. It’s another finals. It’s another great two weeks. Regardless of what happens now, I’ve done my best. When you go out there on Saturday, you have everything to win.”

And everything to lose, of course, too.


4 Comments on Wozniacki soars into No. 1 vs. No. 2 Australian Open final against Halep

  1. I think it’s great that we have the # 1 and #2 players in the women’s final. They are both playing the best right now. I like both women but I am more partial to Simona. I would love to see her finally come through after her recent tough losses in slams. Either way someone will win their first slam.

    I hope that the match lives up to expectations, that both women bring their ‘A’ game. I look forward to it. Either one winning should be a wonderful moment. But I am really hoping that Simona can get the win.

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