Caroline Wozniacki beats Elise Mertens to cement Aussie Open final spot




World No.2 Caroline Wozniacki is the first woman through to the Australian Open final after ending the undefeated summer run of unseeded Belgian Elise Mertens.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 25:  Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark plays a forehand in her semi-final match against Elise Mertens of Belgium on day 11 of the 2018 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 25, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark plays a forehand in her semi-final match against Elise Mertens at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.

Source: Getty

Seeking her first grand slam title, the Danish star booked her place with a 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) victory in one hour and 37 minutes on Rod Laver Arena today.

Wozniacki will face either world No.1 Simona Halep or 2016 champion Angelique Kerber in Saturday night's title decider at Melbourne Park.

The 27-year-old will be contesting her third grand slam final after losing the 2009 and 2014 US Open deciders, to Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams respectively.

Wozniacki made an early statement against Mertens, breaking the 22-year-old who was making her first appearance at Melbourne Park in the fourth game of the semi-final.

Wozniacki looked to be cruising to victory after taking the first set with ease and then going up 5-4 in the second and serving for the match.

She took advantage of Merten's erratic play, with the world No.37 making 34 unforced errors.

But two nervy double-faults handed Mertens the break back - and invitation back into the contest.

The Belgian smelt a choke in the offing, reeling off seven straight points to go up 6-5.

Mertens had two set points but couldn't close it out herself, with Wozniacki belting a forehand to force a tiebreak.

With the pressure on both players, Wozniacki's consistency and big-match experience proved key with the former world No.1 dominating the tiebreak.

Before the match, Wozniacki admitted she was still haunted by her 2011 Open semi-final loss to Li Na when she blew a match point before losing in three sets.

This win should go some way to atone for that disappointment.

Wozniacki will move to world No.1 if current queen Halep loses her semi-final later today.

If they clash in the final, the winner will leave Melbourne with the top ranking as well as the trophy and $4 million winner's purse.

loading error