Panelist Predictions Australian Open Women’s Final: Simona Halep vs Caroline Wozniacki

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Simona Halep

After two weeks of fascinating tennis, the women’s draw culminates in a hugely anticipated final between Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki. With a maiden Grand Slam and the World No.1 spot on the line, this promises to be a match of the highest quality. But who will win the Australian Open? Our writers, Vithun Illankovan, James Cunningham, Yesh Ginsburg, Sam Barker and Nurein Ahmed predict who they believe will take home the title.

Simona Halep vs Caroline Wozniacki

Vithun: Firstly I would like to say that this is the most defensive final we have probably had in a Grand Slam this century. In my 2018 Grand Slam outlook piece, I predicted Wozniacki as my Australian Open winner and Halep as my French Open winner. I still stick with these predictions based on what I have seen this tournament. More often than not, when two players of similar pedigree are in a Grand Slam final, it is the one who had the easier and less eventful route that ends up victorious. In this case, it is Wozniacki who fulfills that criteria, especially as I think she needs it more as I don’t think she has a similar chance of winning a major on other surfaces like that of Halep.

Wozniacki in 3

James: Halep demonstrated a true champion’s mentality in her tough semi-final encounter with Angelique Kerber, and winning that match will give her an enormous amount of confidence going into this match. Wozniacki has been consistently good throughout the tournament but has not faced an opponent in the top-10 so far. The Dane has a better head-to-head record but I think it will be a very close match where the finest margins will decide. For me, Halep has the confidence and overall quality to see this one through, just.

Halep in 3
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Yesh: It feels cruel to pick against Caroline Wozniacki in a Grand Slam final. She’s waited for this for so long and has never seemed to be able to get over the hump. On the other hand, the same is true of her opponent. Both players are supremely talented, but both have had their struggles with pressure on the biggest stages. This will be a tight match, and it will probably go three sets. The winner will be the one who can best overcome nerves late. I have no idea which of the two that will be, but I will give the tiniest of advantages to the more aggressive player, and that is Simona Halep.

Halep in 3

Sam: After her incredible win over Angelique Kerber in the semi-finals, Simona Halep admitted that her body was starting to break down, with pain in both feet. If her movement is impeded then that hands Caroline Wozniacki a massive advantage. That said, Halep seems like she wants this more than Wozniacki, demonstrating a newfound steely grit. Wozniacki has waited so long to get her hands on a Grand Slam though. I think if she can take Halep into a third set, she grinds out the victory.

Wozniacki in 3

Nurein: This should be a cracking final and both these two women have earned their tickets to the party. The script could not have been any better. Both have saved match points en route to the final. I think we got the final we all wanted to see. Unfortunately for Halep fans, I think there is going to be more heartbreak for her in Slam final again. I’ve been very impressed by Halep’s powers of recovery in the match against Davis, and that thriller against Kerber but I’m not convinced her ankle will sustain one more test against a tough customer in the shape of Wozniacki. The Dane has much more authority in her play from the back of the court. Halep’s indecisivenes, especially in the long rallies,s could prove costly because Wozniacki is a clean ball striker and takes it early.

Wozniacki in 2

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