Simona Halep admitted she was "shaking like a leaf" 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 at the Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.
Halep sets up final showdown with 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. "It was very tough, I am shaking now," she 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. 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.