Simona Halep to face Caroline Wozniacki in final after saving match points to deny Angelique Kerber
Simona Halep v Angelique Kerber 6-3 4-6 9-7

Simona Halep to face Caroline Wozniacki in final after saving match points to deny Angelique Kerber

25/01/2018

Simona Halep saved two match points before completing a 6-3 4-6 9-7 win against Angelique Kerber in an epic Australian Open semi-final in Melbourne.

Number one seed Halep completed the victory on her fourth match point after earlier saving two match points to deny 21st seed Kerber a place in the final two years after she won the title in Melbourne.

Halep's victory over two hours and 20 minutes on Rod Laver Arena means there will be a new women's champion at the season's first Grand Slam on Saturday with the top spot in the rankings also on the line against former number one Wozniaki.

A wildly unpredictable match veered one way, then the other, before Romania's Halep finally broke Kerber's resistance to claim victory on her fourth match point when her exhausted opponent fired a backhand over the baseline.

When Halep won the first five games in only 14 minutes it seemed the expected battle royal between two of the game's most ferocious competitors would turn into a damp squib.

But the rejuvenated Kerber roared back producing the form that brought her titles at the Australian Open and US Open in 2016.

The German had two match points at 6-5 in a brutal deciding set before Halep turned it around with some brave hitting to seal victory before an adoring audience.

Dane Caroline Wozniacki came through a late bout of nerves to reach the Australian Open final for a first time with a 6-3 7-6(2) victory ovearlier on Thursday, giving herself another shot at winning a maiden grand slam title.

Halep has twice lost in the final of the French Open in 2014 and 2017, but this will be her first shot at claiming the title in Melbourne.

Wozniacki will be appearing in a third major final having lost to 2009 and 2014 in the US Open final.

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