- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 24, 2018

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - A glance at the Australian Open:

LOOKAHEAD TO THURSDAY

There’ll be at least one woman in the Australian Open final who is yet to win a major.

Second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki is up against 22-year-old Elise Mertens, who has reached the last four on her debut at the Australian Open. In the second of the semifinals, 2016 Australian and U.S. Open champion Angelique Kerber faces No. 1-seeded Simona Halep, a two-time French Open finalist who has reached the semifinals at Melbourne Park for the first time.

Kerber, as the then No. 1, and Halep both lost in the first round last year. Two-time U.S. Open runner-up Wozniacki was out in the third round and has never contest an Australian Open final.



Kerber has a 4-2 edge in tour-level main draw matches against Halep, the 26-year-old Romanian who has 16 career titles. Among the semifinalists, Halep has spent the longest time on court: 9 hours, 56 minutes. By contrast, Kerber has breezed through five rounds in 6:19.

Wozniacki has been ranked No. 1, has won 27 titles and reached the U.S. Open final twice, but is still yet to win a major. Mertens, who trains at Kim Clijsters’ academy in Belgium, has won two titles at tour level - she won the Hobart International in 2017 and successfully defended it this month.

On the men’s side, No. 6 Marin Cilic and Kyle Edmund are vying to become only the second player from outside the so-called ‘Big 4’ (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray) to reach an Australian Open final since Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s runner-up finish in 2008. Stan Wawrinka won the 2014 title.

Cilic has returned to the Australian Open semifinals for the first time since 2010. The 2014 U.S. Open champion was leading top-ranked Nadal 2-0 in the fifth set when the 16-time major winner retired from their quarterfinal with a muscle injury in his right hip. That ended a 3-hour, 47-minute contest.

Edmund, ranked 49th, had never been beyond the second round at Melbourne Park, or beyond the fourth round at any of the majors. He beat U.S. Open finalist Kevin Anderson in the first round and upset No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov in the quarterfinals, scoring the biggest win of his career. If he reaches the final, he could break into the top 20 for the first time and overhaul five-time Australian Open finalist Murray - who is recovering from surgery on his right hip - as the British No. 1.

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THURSDAY FORECAST

Humid, partly cloudy, high of 27 Celsius (81 Fahrenheit)

WEDNESDAY’S WEATHER

Mostly sunny, high of 24 C (75 F)

WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS

Women’s Quarterfinals: No. 1 Simona Halep beat No. 6 Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-2; No. 21 Angelique Kerber beat No. 17 Madison Keys 6-1, 6-2.

Men’s Quarterfinals: No. 2 Roger Federer beat No. 19 Tomas Berdych 7-6 (1), 6-3, 6-4; Hyeon Chung beat Tennys Sandgren 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-3.

STAT OF THE DAY

1 - Chung is the first Korean to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam tennis tournament.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“All the people is watching Australian Open now because we make history in Korea.” - Chung, talking about potentially millions of new tennis fans in his home country.

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More AP coverage: www.apnews.com/tag/AustralianOpen

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