We’re down to the final four in Melbourne, and the first Australian Open women’s semi sees second seed Caroline Wozniacki take on Belgian bolter Elise Mertens.
History: Played 1: Wozniacki 1 V Mertens 0.
Last meeting: July 30, 2017 (Swedish Open – SF): Wozniacki d Mertens 7-5, 4-6, 6-2.
Final Thoughts: The only unseeded player to make it through to the women’s semis, world No.35 Elise Mertens has come of age at this Australian Open.
The 22-year-old Belgian had never previous made it past the third round of a major before, but her charge through the early rounds included a straight-sets win over Aussie 23rd seed Daria Gavrilova, while she swept aside Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-0 in the quarters. She is yet to drop a set at the tournament, showing the form that has carried her to consecutive Hobart International titles in 2017-18.
World No.2 Caroline Wozniacki has been solid throughout this campaign; after being pushed to three sets by Jana Fett in the second round, she easily accounted for seeded players Kiki Bertens and Magdalena Rybarikova, before downing Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0, 7-6, 6-2 in the quarters.
This is Wozniacki’s seventh grand slam semi appearance – having previously reached this stage in Melbourne in 2011 and the US Open five times, winning only two – and this is as good an opportunity as 27-year-old Dane will get to break through for her maiden major title.
Wozniacki’s big-match experience gives her an edge, but everything Mertens has produced over the last week and a half suggests she’ll push her more illustrious opponent all the way, as she did when the pair met for the first time in the Swedish Open semis six months ago.