Simona Halep has advanced to her first Australian Open final after saving two match points and rallying to defeat Angelique Kerber 3-6, 6-4, 9-7 in the second women’s semifinal on Thursday.
Both women had their chances to put the match away in the 68-minute-long third set.
Halep was serving for the match at 5-3, but was broken after Kerber ended a 26-stroke rally with a backhand winner that just clipped the line. The German player then fell to her knees and put her forehead on the court in exhaustion.
Halep had two match points in the next game, but Kerber saved the first with a backhand down the line and the second when Halep hit into the net.
After Kerber broke to take a 6-5 lead, she then had two match points of her own, but Halep saved them both and then broke back to level the match at 6-all.
Serving at 7-8, Kerber saved a third match point before Halep finally converted on the fourth when the German sent a ball long.
Halep said after the match, “Definitely was very tough. I’m shaking now, I’m really emotional because I could win this match.”