There will be a first-time grand slam winner in Melbourne on Saturday night, with Simon Halep and Caroline Wozniacki gunning for their major breakthrough in a dream Australian Open women’s final.
History: Played 6: Wozniacki 4 V Halep 2.
Last meeting: October 26, 2017 (WTA Finals – Group Stage): Wozniacki d Halep 6-0, 6-2.
Final Thoughts: After two weeks of what shaped as the most wide-open women’s grand slam in recent memory, we arrive at the 2018 Australian Open final showdown between the first and second seed.
World No.1 Simona Halep and No.2 Caroline Wozniacki are both chasing their maiden major title, each losing in two previous grand slam final appearances – Haelp at the 2014 and ’17 French Opens, Wozniacki at the 2009 and ’14 US Opens.
Halep has been in outstanding touch since her third-round marathon against Lauren Davis, demolishing Naomi Osaka and sixth seed Karolina Pliskova, before outlasting Angelique Kerber 6-3, 4-6, 9-7 in an epic semi-final.
Wozniacki’s path to the decider has been comparatively smoother, downing Carla Suarez Navarro in a three-set quarter final and accounting for breakout star Elise Mertens 6-3, 7-6 in the semis, showing plenty of fortitude in a gripping second-set tie-break.
It’s a mouth-watering showdown: both players are in their prime, separated by less than a year age-wise, chasing their first slam and with the world No.1 ranking on the line as well.
Wozniacki has won the last three matches between the pair and her big serving game will be difficult to overcome, but Halep has come of age from a mental toughness perspective at this tournament and the Romanian should justify her favourite status in a classic final.