MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A glance at the Australian Open:
LOOKAHEAD TO SATURDAY
There’ll be a first-time major winner after the Australian Open women’s final, with top-ranked Simona Halep and No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki vying for a breakthrough Grand Slam singles title.
Both will be playing their third final at a major, and their first in Australia. The winner also is assured of being No. 1 when the next rankings are released.
Both have saved match points to reach the final — with Halep having to do it in the third round and in the semifinals.
Halep, who has lost two French Open finals — including last year when she led by a set and a break — says she’s had a change of mentality at Melbourne Park. “I was not afraid of losing,” she said after her win over semifinal win over 2016 champion Angelique Kerber. “I won those balls, and then I got the confidence back that I’m still alive and I can do it.”
Wozniacki, who has lost two U.S. Open finals, says “I always believed in myself. I was just giving myself time. I think if you don’t feel like you can go all the way in tournaments, then to me there’s no sense in playing.”
Humid, partly cloudy, high of 32 Celsius (90 Fahrenheit)
Humid, rain showers, high of 29 Celsius (84 Fahrenheit)
Men’s semifinals: No. 2 Roger Federer beat Hyeon Chung 6-1, 5-2 ret.
Women’s Doubles: No. 5 Kristina Mladenovic and Timea Babos beat No. 2 Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 6-3.
STAT OF THE DAY
20 — Defending champion Roger Federer is targeting a 20th Grand Slam singles title after securing a spot in the Australian Open final against Marin Cilic.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“That’s why this one feels bittersweet. I’m incredibly happy to be in the finals, but not like this.” Federer said after he reached his record seventh Australian Open final when Hyeon Chung was forced to retire with bad blisters in the second set of their semifinal match.
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