Women’s Semifinal:  Simona Halep (ROU) vs.  Angelique Kerber (GER)
It was another three-set thriller from the Romanian. If there was ever any doubt that Halep is not fully committed to doing what it takes to win the big ones, doubt no more. Halep was pushed in the third round against American, Lauren Davis. She won that in the third, 15-13. Many, including myself thought that she would have nothing left in the tank for the Japanese power-hitter, Naomi Osaka, in the next round. However, she proved us wrong, easily dispatching Osaka 6-3, 6-2. She was up against another power-hitter in the subsequent round, sixth seeded, Karolina Pliskova. Once again, she dispatched her opponent with the identical score of the previous round.
She made it to the semifinals having played a very taxing match and carrying an ankle injury. Her opponent, former Australian champion, Kerber and Halep knew this would be another battle. Mentally and physically she would be challenged. Halep had her chances to win this in straight sets; however, Kerber has recovered her form and was not about to be dismissed that easily. Perhaps memories of having a lead in previous important matches and losing popped into Halep’s head; whatever the cause, she lost the lead and the set.
This match was played at a high level despite the numerous breaks and it was worthy of a final; unfortunately, it was only a semifinal. Kerber broke to start the deciding set and Halep immediately broke back. Halep has increased her fitness, not only physically, but also mentally. Perhaps it has finally dawned on her that she has what it takes to be a major champion and that even when things are not going as smoothly as she would like, she has enough to fight through the rough patches to victory.
She needed to fight through another rough patch tonight. Kerber served for the match at 6-5 and Halep remained focused on her objective and calmly broke her opponent. She broke again at 8-7 to win the match 6-3, 4-6, 9-7.
Her reward is her third major final and a date with the second seed, Caroline Wozniacki.
SOURCE OF IMAGE: Zimbio.com (Scott Barbour/Getty Images AsiaPac: Simona Halep victorious).