Melbourne - A first Australian Open final beckons on
Thursday for either Marin Cilic or Kyle Edmund, with three of the four women in
action also gunning for a new Melbourne experience.
Sixth seed Cilic made the semis eight years ago but fell to
Andy Murray, with another British player again standing in his way in unseeded
They are the evening match on Rod Laver Arena, with the two
women's semi-finals beforehand. The last men's semi-final takes place on
Angelique Kerber is the only woman still in contention who
has tasted Grand Slam success, beating Serena Williams in the final in 2016 and
backing it up by winning the US Open later that year.
She is on a run of hot form in 2018 and comes up against
world number one Simona Halep, while second seed Caroline Wozniacki faces
Belgian surprise packet Elise Mertens.
Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, benefited from Rafael
Nadal's injury retirement in the quarter-finals and he plans to make the most
of his opportunity.
"I'm extremely pleased with my own game. Even in the
other matches before the Nadal one, I played great tennis. Very high
level," said the Croat.
"I want to keep going with my own game and try to lift
up, keep pushing as much as I can."
Edmund has nothing lose in his best Grand Slam ever and is
relishing the chance to go even further.
"I'm 23 years old, my first Grand Slam
semi-final," he said.
"They're great feelings. You don't obviously play in
the semi-finals of a Grand Slam every day."
Kerber, seeded 21, comes into her clash with Halep bubbling
with confidence and in great touch on the back of an unbeaten singles campaign
in the Hopman Cup and her triumph in the Sydney warm-up.
They both have similar styles, chasing down everything, and
the German is expecting a titanic struggle.
"I think it will be a long match with a lot of long
rallies. I played against her a lot of times, and it was always tough and
close," she said.
Denmark's Wozniacki faces unseeded Mertens, who has made the
last four in her tournament debut and is on a 10-match unbeaten run after
winning the lead-up Hobart International.
"She's had a very good start to the year, she's
unbeaten," said Wozniacki, who is targeting a maiden Grand Slam title
after a decade of trying.
"I remember playing her in Bastad. She's a great