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Australian Open: Simona Halep left ‘shaking’ after beating Angelique Kerber in semi-final

Simona Halep felt her strength of character shone through in a semi-final classic with Angelique Kerber at the Australian Open.

tennis Updated: Jan 25, 2018 15:17 IST
By Peter Thompson
By Peter Thompson
Australian Open,Simona Halep,Angelique Kerber
Simona Halep quelled a tenacious Angelique Kerber fightback and saved two match points to reach her first Australian Open final with a 6-3, 4-6, 9-7 victory in a compelling scrap on Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.(AFP)

Simona Halep was “shaking” after saving two match points to reach the Australian Open final at the expense of Angelique Kerber in a thrilling “rollercoaster” semi-final.

The world number one beat the resurgent 2016 champion 6-3 4-6 9-7 in a classic last-four encounter on Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.

(Read | Simona Halep beats Angelique Kerber in Australian Open, sets up final with Caroline Wozniacki)

Top seed Halep failed to take two match points before saving as many and eventually came through a topsy-turvy battle to set up a showdown with Caroline Wozniacki on Saturday, when both players will be striving for an elusive first grand slam title.

The gutsy Romanian was full of pride after passing a huge mental and physical test.

(Read | Australian Open tennis: Caroline Wozniacki relieved to banish semi-final ghost)

“It was very tough, I am shaking now,” Halep said. “She’s a very tough opponent, moving well and hitting from everywhere.

“It’s not easy winning two such long matches in the same tournament.

(Read | Australian Open tennis: Elise Mertens learns ‘anything is possible’)

“I just had confidence in myself, I told myself to fight for every point and then rest afterwards. I tried to stay calm but today I was like a rollercoaster.

“I didn’t give up, though and, if you don’t give up, you can win matches. I am proud of myself.”

The winner of the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup this weekend will be on top of the rankings next week.

First Published: Jan 25, 2018 15:17 IST