New Delhi: World number one Simona Halep defeated defending champion Angelique Kerber in the semi-finals to make it to the summit of the Australian Open 2018. Halep will now face Caroline Wozniacki in the finals. The 26-year-old player, who was the first Romanian to compete at this stage at Melbourne Park, saved two match points on her way to a 6-3, 4-6, 9-7 victory to take the German out of the tournament. Also Read - Australian Open 2021: Novak Djokovic Beats Daniil Medvedev For Record-Extending Ninth Title at Melbourne Park, Wins 18th Grand Slams Title Overall
Both Halep and Kerber had their chances to put the match away in the 68-minute-long third set. Also Read - Australian Open 2021 HIGHLIGHTS FINAL 2021 Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev Live Updates: Djokovic Beats Medvedev in Straight Sets to Win 9th Australian Open Title
Halep was serving for the match at 5-3, but was broken after Kerber ended a 26-stroke rally with a backhand winner, but exhaustion took the best of her. The Romanian had two match points in the next game, but Kerber saved the first with a backhand down the line and the second when Halep hit into the net. Also Read - Daniil Medvedev Registers Clinical Win Over Stefanos Tsitsipas to Set up Australian Open Title Clash Against Novak Djokovic
After Kerber broke to take a 6-5 lead, she then had two match points of her own, but Halep saved them both and then broke back to level the match at 6-all.
Serving at 7-8, the German saved a third match point before Halep finally converted on the fourth when the German sent a ball long.
Now, she will face Caroline Wozniacki, a straight-set winner over Elise Mertens, with both women looking for a first major title.
The world number one ranking will also be up for grabs for the new Australian Open champion.
(With ANI inputs)