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Wozniacki survives scare to reach maiden Melbourne final

  • Published at 12:56 pm January 25th, 2018
Wozniacki survives scare to reach maiden Melbourne final
Caroline Wozniacki came through a late bout of nerve to reach the Australian Open final for a first time with a 6-3 7-6 (2) victory over Belgian Elise Mertens Thursday, giving herself another shot at winning a maiden grand slam title. The Dane had dominated her second Melbourne Park semi-final until she was 5-4, 30-0 up and serving for the match but suddenly faltered with a pair of double fault to allow her 22-year-old opponent back into the contest. Mertens, playing only her fifth grand slam, took full advantage and, unleashing a string of winner, broke the former world No 1 and racked up two set points. Unlike in her 2011 semi-final against Li Na, when she blew a match point, Wozniacki was able to recover her composure and saved them both on the back of a couple of booming serve. After four deuces, the 27-year-old held with a thumping forehand then raced away with the ensuing tiebreak to seal a title-decider against either Simona Halep or Angelique Kerber. Wozniacki has yet to win a grand slam title despite spending 67 weeks as world No 1 and is the only player to have won more than 25 WTA titles without claiming a major title. She lost six successive tour finals in 2017 but showed a more aggressive edge to her game when she saved two match points to battle back from 5-1 down in the third set to win her second round match against Jana Fett last week. Victory over Halep or Kerber Saturday would take her back to the top of the world ranking but, having lost both her previous grand slam final at the U.S Open, clearly finally landing a major title would mean far more.