The headline-hitting event for Romanian sports this coming weekend is the women's final of the year's first Grand Slam tournament, the Australian Open. The Romanian Simona Halep, as an absolute first in her career, will be fighting with the trophy on the table, as on Thursday she succeeded a grand qualification for the final match. In the semifinals, Halep defeated the German challenger Angelique Kerber, 6-3, 4‑6, 9-7.
The Romanian had a smashing start, as in less than 20 minutes she had a 5-nil lead. Kerber then won three games in a row, but Halep won the first set, 6-3. In the second set, Simona Halep managed to have a 3-1 lead. Yet Kerber came from behind, winning the second set, 6-4. The German also had a an auspicious start in the third set, with a winning break. Notwithstanding, Halep didn't give in and managed to yet again get the lead, 5-3. When the scoreboard showed 5-4 in her favor, Help had two match balls on Kerber's service, but the German denied both balls and secured a deuce. Kerber succeeded a break and with the scoreboard showing 6-5 in her favor, the German had two match balls. However, Halep fought back, providing a turnaround for the match, and eventually won the third set, 9-7.
Here is what Halep said after the game:
"Before the match I knew it's going to be very tough and I saw that she's a very tough opponent she moving pretty well, she's hitting from everywhere, so, yeah, I'm really glad I could resist and I could win this match so I had confidence in myself . I decided that after I twisted my ankle that I will fight for every point and I will go till the end, I will give everything in this tournament and then I 'll rest. So now I will have a big rest after this tournament. "
Qualifying for the final, Halep secured two million Australian dollars and 1,300 WTA points. In the final on Saturday, Simona Halep faces the world' s number two tennis player Caroline Wozniacki. In the semi-final on Thursday, the Polish-born Danish tennis player defeated the Belgian challenger Elise Mertens, 6-3, 7-6. The winner of the Australian Open will be top of the world rankings as of Monday.
(translated by Eugen Nasta)