Cilic tames Edmund to reach first Australian Open final

A business-like Marin Cilic defused the firepower of Kyle Edmund before crushing the ailing Briton 6-2 7-6(4) 6-2 to reach his first Australian Open final on Thursday.
Cilic tames Edmund to reach first Australian Open final
Marin Cilic


The sixth-seeded Croatian was relentless under the lights at Rod Laver Arena, unleashing a barrage of 32 winners to end the world number 49’s dream run with a stinging defeat in two hours and 18 minutes. An agitated Edmund took a medical time-out after losing the first set and hobbled through the latter part of the match before surrendering meekly after a massive serve from the rangy Cilic. 
Former US Open champion Cilic will meet the winner of Roger Federer and Chung Hyeon for the title. 
World number one Simona Halep quelled a tenacious Angelique Kerber fightback and saved two match points to reach her first Australian Open final with a 6-3 4-6 9-7 victory in a compelling scrap on Rod Laver Arena on Thursday. 
A wildly unpredictable match veered one way, then the other, before Romanian Halep ended Kerber’s resistance on her fourth match point in a spellbinding deciding set that pushed both players to the limit of their endurance. Former champion Kerber, who won only five points in losing the opening five games, was jelly-legged at times but fought off two match points in the 10th game of the third set before seeing two of her own go begging two games later. 
Halep’s insatiable desire for a maiden grand slam title proved the key ingredient in the end as an exhausted Kerber struck a backhand over the baseline. She will now face Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki in the first Australian Open final between two players still chasing one of the four majors since 1980. To add spice to the showdown between the top two seeds, the number one ranking is also on the line. 
Caroline Wozniacki came through a late bout of nerves to reach the final for a first time with a 6-3 7-6(2) victory over Belgian Elise Mertens on Thursday, giving herself another shot at winning a maiden grand slam title.
The Dane, who has fallen at the final hurdle at the 2009 US Open and again in 2014, will meet top seed Simona Halep in Saturday’s final, with both the title and the world number one ranking going to the winner. Following last year’s US Open title match between champion Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys, the Melbourne Park decider will be the second consecutive grand slam final featuring two players bidding for their first major trophy. 
However, it will be the first time it has happened in Australia since Hana Mandlikova won her maiden slam against home hope Wendy Turnbull back in 1980. Wozniacki dominated her second Melbourne Park semi-final until she was 5-4, 30-0 up and serving for the match against Mertens but suddenly faltered with a pair of double-faults to allow her 22-year-old opponent back into the contest.

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