Simona Halep vs Caroline Wozniacki, Australian Open Final Preview

Australian Open, 🇦🇺🏆 Final Preview
🇷🇴 (1) Simona Halep vs 🇩🇰 (2) Caroline Wozniacki

A blockbuster championship battle will take place on Saturday night as world number 1 Simona Halep takes on world number 2 Caroline Wozniacki in the Australian Open final. This is huge! Both ladies are playing to win an eagerly awaited maiden Grand Slam title, the winner will also secure the world number 1 ranking. Halep and Wozniacki have both come through great adversity to reach their first Australian Open finals, both have saved multiple match points on route to this stage. Halep and Wozniacki are the two greatest players in the game to have never won a Grand Slam title, both will be competing in their third Grand Slam final, for one of them it will be third time lucky.

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Simona Halep is having a career defining couple of weeks at Melbourne Park. Halep has had to overcome so much pain to get through to her first Australian Open final. The world number 1 severely rolled her ankle in her opening round victory before surviving an almost 4 hour epic that went to 15-13 in the final set against Lauren Davis. Since that troublesome match with Davis, Halep has been in imperious form. Halep crushed Naomi Osaka and Karolina Pliskova in straight sets to set up an epic semi-final with Angelique Kerber.

Halep outlasted Kerber 6-3 4-6 9-7 in what was the greatest match of the tournament thus far. Halep ended the match with a whopping 50 winners, an outstanding number against the best defender on tour. Halep failed to convert at couple of match points at 4-5 in the third set before saving a pair of match points at 5-6. The final set featured several scintillating rallies as both players gave their absolute all on court. In the end, it was Halep who outlasted Kerber, perhaps the best win of Halep’s career.

Caroline Wozniacki has also had to overcome her fair share of adversity on route to her first Australian Open final. Wozniacki came from 1-5 15-40 down in the final set of her second round match with Jana Fett, a second chance in the tournament for Wozniacki. The Dane has made the most of her second life, claiming a couple of straight set wins over Kiki Bertens and Magdalena Rybarikova before beating Carla Suarez Navarro in 3 sets to set up a semi-final with Elise Mertens. Apart from a shaky ending to the match, Wozniacki easily accounted for Elise Mertens, winning 6-3 7-6.

It is Wozniacki who has generally had the better of Halep in this match-up, Wozniacki holds a 4-2 record over the Romanian and has won the last 3 meetings between the pair. The most recent match between the two took place in Singapore last year, Wozniacki easily accounted for Halep, winning 6-0 6-2.

Simona Halep vs Angelique Kerber, Australian Open SF Preview

Australian Open, 🇦🇺 Semi-Final Preview
🇷🇴 (1) Simona Halep vs 🇩🇪 (21) Angelique Kerber

A blockbuster semi-final clash sees world number 1 Simona Halep take on 2016 Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber. It can be argued that Halep and Kerber are the two best players in the world right now. Both have made outstanding starts to the seasons, both are unbeaten in 2018. Halep and Kerber were both extremely impressive in their respective quarter-final victories, Halep stormed past Karolina Pliskova whilst Kerber thrashed Madison Keys. Both will bring a heap of confidence into this match as they do battle for a spot in Saturday’s final at Melbourne Park.

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Simona Halep seems to be peaking at the right time of the tournament. It has been a dramatic week for Halep but the world number 1 seems to be in a good space heading into the semi-finals. Halep came through a couple of scares in the first week, in the opening round she rolled her ankle against Destanee Aiava whilst in the third round she defeated Lauren Davis 4-6 6-4 15-13 in an epic. Halep has gained a heap of momentum and confidence in her last couple of matches where she has beaten Naomi Osaka and Karolina Pliskova in straight sets, both ended in 6-3 6-2 score lines. Halep’s demolition of Pliskova was particularly impressive, after quickly going down 0-3, Halep won 12 of the last 14 games in a dazzling display. Halep’s return of serve was the standout shot as was the Romanian’s ability to hit winner after winner down the line off both sides. Halep will face a very different opponent in the form of Kerber on Thursday.

Angelique Kerber enters the semi-final stage as the favourite to win the title. Kerber is the only one of the 4 remaining contenders to who have won a Grand Slam title. The German is in outstanding form, the type of form that saw her win multiple Grand Slam titles in 2016. Kerber has incredibly won 14 matches in a row to start the new year. In Melbourne Kerber waltzed through the opening week with straight set wins over Anna-Lena Friedsam, Donna Vekic and Maria Sharapova. Kerber faced her toughest test in the fourth round where she came from a set down to beat a red-hot Su-Wei Hsieh. Kerber confirmed her spot in the semi-finals with a 6-1 6-2 demolition of Madison Keys. Kerber controlled the match from start to finish but will face a different task against a determined Simona Halep on Thursday.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 4 wins apiece. The German has won 4 of the last 5 matches between the pair, most recently a 6-3 6-4 win in Cincinnati in 2016 and a 6-4 6-2 at the WTA Finals Singapore a few months later.

Caroline Wozniacki vs Elise Mertens, Australian Open SF Preview

Australian Open, 🇦🇺 Semi-Final Preview
🇩🇰 (2) Caroline Wozniacki vs 🇧🇪 Elise Mertens

Caroline Wozniacki and Elise Mertens will meet in the first semi-final of the day on Thursday at Melbourne Park. Wozniacki is now one step away from reaching her first Australian Open final, her third Grand Slam final overall and is two steps away from finally claiming a maiden Grand Slam title. In Wozniacki’s way is an in form Elise Mertens who will be competing in her first Grand Slam semi-final in what is her first ever appearance in the main draw at Melbourne Park. Whilst on paper this may look like an easy match-up for Wozniacki, Mertens is playing the best tennis of her life at the moment, if the Belgian can carry her quarter-final form into this match she will be a huge threat to the Dane.

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Caroline Wozniacki has never had a greater opportunity to win her first Grand Slam title. The Dane has improved her game in all area’s and may finally be ready to step up and make the most of this opportunity. Wozniacki received a second life in the tournament in the second round where she saved match point and came from 1-5 down in the deciding set to beat Jana Fett. Since that match, Wozniacki has been much improved. The world number 2 defeated Kiki Bertens and Magdalena Rybarikova in straight sets before confirming her spot in the semi-finals with a 6-0 6-7 6-2 win over Carla Suarez Navarro.

Elise Mertens is riding a huge way of momentum, the Belgian has now won 10 matches in a row having arrived in Melbourne fresh off a title run in Hobart. Mertens has stormed into her first Grand Slam semi-final without dropping a set at Melbourne Park. Mertens strolled through to the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time with straight set wins over Viktoria Kuzmova, Daria Gavrilova and Alize Cornet. In the fourth round Mertens came through a nervy clash against Petra Martic before producing her best performance of the tournament thus far to thrash Elina Svitolina 6-4 6-0 in what was the best match the Belgian has played in her career. Mertens executed an ultra-aggressive game against Svitolina, playing a huge percentage of point inside the baseline, consistently punishing Svitolina with her powerful, dynamic game.

It was Wozniacki who won the only previous match between the pair, a hard-fought 7-5 4-6 6-2 victory on clay in Bastad last year. That match showed that Mertens does have the game to really challenge Wozniacki, if Mertens can bring her best tennis to Thursday’s semi-final match in Melbourne she may well cause another big upset.

Simona Halep vs Karolina Pliskova, Australian Open QF Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 Quarter-Final Preview
🇷🇴 (1) Simona Halep vs 🇨🇿 (6) Karolina Pliskova

The pick of the quarter-final match-ups at Melbourne Park sees the top seeded Simona Halep take on the 6th seeded Karolina Pliskova. Heading into the new year, Halep and Pliskova were two of the main contenders to claim maiden Grand Slam titles. Halep and Pliskova now have the Australian Open title within touching distance, who will step up and take control of this crucial quarter-final clash? It has been Halep who has been fairly dominant in this match-up, the Romanian heads into this match with a 5-2 record over Pliskova. Can the Czech turn things around on Wednesday or will Halep again be too strong?

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Simona Halep has an unbeaten 9-0 record in 2018 after arriving in Melbourne on the back of winning the Shenzhen title. It has been a dramatic week for Halep as she has fought her way into the quarter-final stage at the Australian Open for the third time. The Romanian suffered a major scare in the opening round when she badly rolled her ankle in a tough victory over Destanee Aiava. Halep has been able to manage her ankle injury well, the Romanian’s biggest test came in the third round where she saved match points on route to an epic 4-6 6-4 15-13 victory over Lauren Davis. There were big questions marks around how Halep would recover from that win over Davis, Halep squashed those question marks, producing her best performance of the tournament to beat Naomi Osaka 6-3 6-2 to reach the quarter-final stage of a Grand Slam for the 10th time.

Karolina Pliskova is into the Australian Open quarter-final stage for the second time, having reached this stage last year where she was upset by Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. Pliskova was untroubled in her first couple of matches at Melbourne Park, cruising past Veronica Cepede Royg and Beatriz Haddad Maia in straight sets. Pliskova’s last couple of matches were very tough against a pair of Fed Cup teammates. The 6th seed battled past Lucie Safarova 7-6 7-5 in the third round before confirming her spot in the quarter-finals with a 6-7 6-3 6-2 win over Barbora Strycova. Pliskova’s win over Strycova was particularly impressive, after falling behind a set past midnight against a challenging opponent, it seemed like the odds were against Pliskova. However, Pliskova rebounded strongly and dominated the next two sets to claim an important victory.

It is Simona Halep who holds a 5-2 head-to-head record over Pliskova. Halep has won 4 of the 6 meeting between the pair on a hard court and has won their two most recent matches.

Madison Keys vs Angelique Kerber, Australian Open QF Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 Quarter-Final Preview
🇺🇸 (17) Madison Keys vs 🇩🇪 (21) Angelique Kerber

Madison Keys and Angelique Kerber will renew hostilities when they meet at the quarter-final stage of the Australian Open on Wednesday. Kerber has dominated this match-up in recent times, the German has won the last 4 meetings between the pair and overall has won 6 of their 7 meetings. Kerber is in imperious form to start the new year, Kerber heads into this quarter-final clash on an unbeaten 13 match winning streak in 2018. However, if anyone can stop Kerber, perhaps it is an red-hot Keys who has stormed through the draw without dropping a set.

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Madison Keys has wasted little time in reaching the final 8 in Melbourne. Keys is yet to drop a set this week and has rarely even been challenged in a set. Keys has conceded an average of 4.75 games per match heading into the quarter-final stage. The American has claimed wins over Qiang Wang, Ekaterina Alexandrova, Ana Bogdan and Caroline Garcia. It was Madison’s fourth round 6-3 6-2 demolition of the 8th seeded Caroline Garcia that was her most impressive performance of the tournament.

Angelique Kerber is undoubtedly the form player on tour right now. Kerber cruised into the second week at Melbourne Park with straight set wins over Anna-Lena Friedsam, Donna Vekic and Maria Sharapova. It was at the fourth round stage where Kerber faced her greatest challenge thus far, surprisingly against Su-Wei Hsieh. Kerber struggled against an inspired opponent for the first set and half but ultimately got on top of Hsieh courtesy of a fierce determination and willingness to go for her shots under pressure, Kerber won 4-6 7-5 6-2. Perhaps this as the tough test Kerber needed to move on to achieve the ultimate glory in Melbourne for a second time.

Kerber has got the better of Keys time and time again. Kerber holds a 6-1 record over the American which includes winning the last 4 matches between the pair. Kerber has won all 5 of the previous matches between the pair on a hard court including a 6-3 6-3 victory in Singapore in 2016 in their most recent match.

Elina Svitolina vs Elise Mertens, Australian Open QF Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 Quarter-Final Preview
🇺🇦 (4) Elina Svitolina vs 🇧🇪 Elise Mertens

Elina Svitolina and Elise Mertens will both be aiming to reach a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time when the pair collide at quarter-final stage of the Australian Open on Tuesday. Svitolina and Mertens have had similarly impressive starts to the season. Svitolina arrived in Melbourne fresh off winning the Brisbane International title whilst Mertens entered the first Grand Slam of the year on the back of winning the Hobart International title. Who will keep their winning streak going and move one step closer to winning a maiden Grand Slam title?

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Elina Svitolina has been criticised for not having the Grand Slam results to match her lofty ranking. The Ukrainian has a major opportunity to change this in Melbourne. Svitolina has reached her third Grand Slam quarter-final, her first away from Roland Garros. The Ukrainian started the week with a comfortable win over Ivana Jorovic before coming from a set down to defeat Katerina Siniakova. The 4th seed has cruised into the final 8 with comfortable straight set wins over Marta Kostyuk and Denisa Allertova. There is a big opportunity for Svitolina to reach the final from here, Svitolina is a strong favourite against Mertens and will fancy her chances against either Caroline Wozniacki or Carla Suarez Navarro in the semi-finals.

Elise Mertens will be no pushover. Mertens is competing in the main draw of the Australian Open for the first time. It was been an outstanding couple of weeks for Mertens. This time last year Mertens was unable to compete in the qualifying draw because she was still in the Hobart draw. 12 months later, Mertens successfully defended her Hobart title and is now into her first Grand Slam quarter-final. Mertens has reached the final 8 in Melbourne without dropping a set. The 22-year-old has claimed straight set wins over Viktoria Kuzmova, Daria Gavrilova, Alize Cornet and Petra Martic.

It was Svitolina who won the only previous meeting between the pair. A 6-2 6-4 victory in the Istanbul final last year on clay.

Caroline Wozniacki vs Carla Suarez Navarro, Australian Open QF Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 Quarter-Final Preview
🇩🇰 (2) Caroline Wozniacki vs 🇪🇸 Carla Suarez Navarro

Caroline Wozniacki and Carla Suarez Navarro will go head-to-head at the quarter-final stage of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Tuesday. Wozniacki is edging closer and closer to a maiden Grand Slam title, the former world number 1 is widely regarded as the best player to never win a Grand Slam and will be desperate to change that over the next week. Suarez Navarro will also have dreams of winning a Grand Slam, the Spaniard has reached the final 8 of a Grand Slam on 5 previous occasions but is still looking to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final. Will Wozniacki’s recent dominance of Carla continue or can the Spaniard extent Wozniacki’s Grand Slam misery?

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Caroline Wozniacki has been ruthless ever since she saved match points in her second round win over Jana Fett. Wozniacki received a lifeline at Melbourne Park after she trailed Jana Fett 1-5 15-40 but survived courtesy of the Croatian tightening up. Wozniacki is seemingly playing with more freedom since that win over Fett. The former world number 1 beat Kiki Bertens 6-4 6-3 before thrashing Magdalena Rybarikova 6-3 6-0 to confirm her spot in the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park for the third time in her career. If ever Wozniacki is going to win a Grand Slam it is now, can the Dane make the most of this opportunity?

Carla Suarez Navarro is into the quarter-final stage at Melbourne Park for the third time in her career, making the Australian Open Carla’s most successful Grand Slam event, which is surprising given clay has always been the Spaniard’s favourite surface. Suarez Navarro arrived in Melbourne in poor form but has displayed her trademark determination to fight through the draw. Suarez Navarro started the event with a tight 2 set win over Magdalena Frech before beating Timea Babos in 3 sets. The world number 40 has come from a set down over a pair of huge hitters to reach the final 8, beating Kaia Kanepi 3-6 6-1 6-3 before beating Anett Kontaveit 4-6 6-4 8-6. Carla Fought from a set and 1-4 down in her win over Kontaveit and came from a break down in the final set, a huge win for Carla.

Wozniacki holds a fairly commanding 5-2 head-to-head record over Suarez Navarro. Wozniacki has won all 3 of the previous matches between the pair but it was Carla who won their most recent match, a 6-4 2-6 6-2 on clay in Madrid last year.

Angelique Kerber vs Su-Wei Hsieh, Australian Open R4 Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 R4 Preview
🇩🇪 (21) Angelique Kerber vs 🇹🇼 Su-Wei Hsieh

Angelique Kerber continues to impress in 2018. The 2016 Australian Open champion is in awesome form right now. The German enters this fourth round clash having won all 12 of her matches this year. Kerber will be back in action on Monday where she will take on Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh. Interestingly, this will be the first career meeting between Kerber and Hsieh, this should be an entertaining match-up.

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Angelique Kerber has rolled into the fourth round at Melbourne Park with little fuss. The former world number 1 stormed through her first few matches, cruising past Anna-Lena Friedsam and Donna Vekic. Kerber produced arguably her best performance of 2018 to secure her spot in the round of 16, a dominant 6-1 6-3 win over Maria Sharapova. Kerber was very aggressive and capitalized on her chances at all of the critical moments. Kerber is shaping as the favourite to win the tournament, the only former Grand Slam champion left in the draw heading into the round of 16.

Su-Wei Hsieh is playing the best tennis of her life. Hsieh has caused a couple of big upsets to reach the second week at a Grand Slam for the second time, the only previous time was a fourth round showing in Melbourne way back 2008. Hsieh started the event with a topsy-turvy 0-6 6-6 8-6 win over Lin Zhu before eliminating the 3rd seeded Garbine Muguruza courtesy of a 7-6 6-4 win, Hsieh’s first win over a top 5 player. Hsieh backed up one of the best wins of her career quite impressively as she defeated Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 7-5. At this point of the tournament Hsieh has nothing to lose and a whole heap to gain.

This will be the first career meeting between Kerber and Hsieh.

Simona Halep vs Naomi Osaka, Australian Open R4 Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 R4 Preview
🇷🇴 (1) Simona Halep vs 🇯🇵 Naomi Osaka

Simona Halep continues her quest for a maiden Grand Slam title on Monday where she faces a very tough test against Japan’s Naomi Osaka. Halep has already survived a couple of almighty scares over the last week at Melbourne Park, none more so than her epic 3 hours and 45 minutes triumph over Lauren Davis in the third round. It will be interesting to see how the world number 1 recovers from her win over Davis, this is unprecedented territory for Halep who had never previously gone past 6-6 in the third set of a Grand Slam.

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It has been a whirlwind week for Simona Halep. The world number 1 started the event with a tough 7-6 6-1 victory over Destanee Aiava, Halep suffered a severe rolled ankle in that first round match. Halep’s second round win was straightforward, an easy 6-2 6-2 win over Eugenie Bouchard. Halep secured her spot in the second week at Melbourne Park with a dramatic 4-6 6-4 15-13 victory over Lauren Davis in a match that equalled the record for most games played in a women’s match at the Australian Open. Halep was not at her best and was up against an inspired opponent, Halep showed her improved mental strength to save 3 match points and eventually outlast Davis to keep her Grand Slam dream alive in Melbourne.

Naomi Osaka has powered through the draw at Melbourne Park to reach the second week of the event for the first time in her young career. Osaka started the event with straight set wins over Kristina Kuccova and Elena Vesnina. Osaka secured her spot in the round of 16 with a very impressive 6-4 6-2 win over Ashleigh Barty. Osaka played a near flawless match to breeze past the Australian number 1, one of the better wins of Osaka’s career.

Halep has won both of the previous matches between the pair. Halep defeated Osaka 4-6 6-2 6-3 at Roland Garros in 2016 and more recently a 6-4 2-6 6-3 win in Miami in 2017.

Caroline Garcia vs Madison Keys, Australian Open R4 Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 R4 Preview
🇫🇷 (8) Caroline Garcia vs 🇺🇸 (17) Madison Keys

An exciting fourth round match-up at Melbourne park sees Caroline Garcia take on Madison Keys in what is a fascinating battle between two players on the rise. Garcia and Keys have had contrasting passages to the second week in Melbourne. Garcia has had to battle through all three of her matches, two of those wins were in 3 sets. whilst Keys has cruised through her matches, all in straight sets. The pair both have powerful, flashy games, Garcia is a bit more versatile but Keys has more firepower. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top in this one.

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Caroline Garcia is into the fourth round stage at Melbourne Park for the very first time. Garcia came into the event with some question marks surrounding her fitness after she retired from her opening round match in Brisbane and did play another event before heading down to Melbourne. Nevertheless, Garcia has battled her way though some very tough matches. Garcia started the week with a 7-5 6-3 win over Carina Witthoeft before fighting from a set down to defeat Market Voundrosova 6-7 6-2 8-6 in extreme heat. Garcia secured her first appearance in the second week at Melbourne Park by beating Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-3 5-7 6-2. Garcia is clearly still confident in important moments after all her success late last year, the 24-year-old has raised her level at every important moment throughout the first week in Melbourne.

Madison Keys has cruised into the fourth round at the Australian Open without dropping a set. Keys stared the week with a 6-1 7-5 win over Qiang Wang in what loomed as a tough opening round match-up. Keys then produced a sublime performance to beat Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-0 6-1. Madison was given a tough test in the third round where she got past Ana Bogdan 6-3 6-4. Keys’ serve has been broken just twice throughout the event, both of the breaks were in the American’s opening round win over Wang. When Madison’s serve is firing she is extremely dangerous.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Most recently it was Keys who won 6-3 6-4 win Wuhan in 2016.