It’s the match for everything. For the No. 1 ranking. For the Australian Open title and for a first career Grand Slam. Both World No. 1 Simona Halep and No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki are in their third career Grand Slam finals, and both have come up just short before.
Halep finished twice runner up at the French Open, including last year where she was twice with three games of victory.
“The way she’s playing, she’s not missing,” Halep said of the Dane. “She’s running very well. So she’s a strong opponent. I played many times, yeah, like you said. I won against her few times. It’s going to be a different match, new match, a tough one. Emotions are there. Pressures are there for both of us.
“We’ll see what is gonna happen. I cannot say anything else about it.”
Wozniacki lost in two US Open finals, but a recent resurgence has put her back at the top of the game.
“I still have one match to go,” Wozniacki said. “I think it’s been a great two weeks so far. 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. 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.”
Both players have saved match points along the way. In fact, Halep saved them in two different matches!
* Both players bidding for their debut Grand Slam title after two previous R-Up finishes
* Winner will take home not only the Australian Open trophy but also the WTA World No.1 ranking
* First time the World No.1 and World No.2 have met since 2015 Australian Open final
* First time in Open Era both finalists have saved match points en route to the championship match at a Grand Slam
* Wozniacki has now reached the title match at her last three successive tournaments, at the 2017 WTA Finals (defeating Venus Williams), 2018 Auckland (lost to Julia Goerges) and now the 2018 Australian Open
* Both finalists have posted their best results at the Australian Open – Wozniacki previously was a semifinalist (in 2011) and Halep had never progressed beyond the quarterfinals (in 2014 and 2015)
* Halep and Wozniacki are both bidding to win their first Grand Slam from their third major final
* This is Halep’s first Grand Slam on hardcourt, and Wozniacki’s third
* Halep is attempting to become the second Romanian woman to win a Grand Slam title, following Virginia Ruzici’s triumph at Roland Garros in 1978
* Wozniacki would be the first player from Denmark to win a Grand Slam singles title. When she reached the final at 2009 US Open, she was the first Danish player to reach a major final since Kurt Nielsen at 1955 Wimbledon
* Wozniacki or Halep will be the 12th different first time Grand Slam title winner in the past 31 Slams: Schiavone (2010 Roland Garros), Li (2011 Roland Garros), Kvitova (2011 Wimbledon), Stosur (2011 US Open), Azarenka (2012 Australian Open), Bartoli (2013 Wimbledon), Pennetta (2015 US Open), Kerber (2016 Australian Open), Muguruza (2016 Roland Garros), Ostapenko (2017 Roland Garros) and Stephens (2017 US Open)
* Today’s champion will be the 48th player in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Wozniacki leads 4-2
Wozniacki has won their last three. This is the first time they have met in a Grand Slam tournament and the first time in a final.
SATURDAY AUSTRALIAN OPEN SCHEDULE
Women’s Singles Final
NOT BEFORE 7:30PM
S.Halep (1) vs C .Wozniacki (2)
Men’s Doubles Final
O.Marach/M.Pavic (7) vs J.Cabal/R.Farah (11)
WUNDERGROUND.COM SATURDAY FORECAST
Sunny. High 89F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph.
Simona Halep 4/6 vs Caroline Wozniacki 6/5
US TV SCHEDULE
ESPN will have live coverage of the women’s final at 3:30am ET.
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