Top seeds at the Melbourne Summer Set 1, Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep had contrasting fortunes and results on Saturday.
Ahead of her semi-final against third seed Veronika Kudermetova, Osaka withdrew from the match citing injury. On her official Twitter handle, Osaka shared, “Sad to withdraw due to injury from my match today, my body got a shock from playing back to back intense matches after the break I took. Thank you for all the love this past week. I’ll try to rest up and I’ll see you soon!”
In the second semi-final, Halep, the second seed, fended off a tough challenge from Qinwen Zheng to reach the final. The Romanian won 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and 24 minutes to extend her streak of having reached at least one WTA final per year since 2010, when she made it to the final of a WTA event for the first time in her career.
Melbourne Summer Set: Amanda Anisimova, Aliaksandra Sasnovich topple seeds
Speaking after her win, Halep said, “I’m really happy that I can play the final for the first tournament of the year. I’m feeling good, and I’m happy with the way I played. I’m really happy with the way I bounced back. It’s always tough, first tournament of the year, few matches played, tough matches. Yesterday was really tough, and today I felt like I played much better, I served much better, and that means physically I’m in a good spot.”
Halep’s match against Kudermetova will be the third meeting between the two players, with Halep winning both of their previous two matches.
Meanwhile, in the Melbourne Summer Set 2, Amanda Anisimova will take on Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the final. The American upset the third-seeded Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-0 in their semi-final clash. The Belarusian on her part took down seventh seed Ann Li 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-3 in their semi-final.