MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – The latest on Thursday at the Australian Open (all locations):
Marin Cilic has advanced to his first Australian Open final, beating Kyle Edmund of Great Britain 6-2, 7-6 (4), 6-2.
The sixth-seeded Croatian player becomes the second man outside of the so-called Big Four of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray to reach the final at Melbourne Park in the last 10 years. Stan Wawrinka, the 2014 champion, is the other.
Cilic reached his third Grand Slam final after the 2014 US Open, which he won, and Wimbledon 2017, which he lost to Federer.
Cilic will also rise to a ranking that occupies the third position to reach the final.
He will face the winner of the second semifinal on Friday between Federer and Hyeon Chung of South Korea.
9:30 pm  Simona Halep had planned to play more aggressively against Angelique Kerber in her semifinal at the Australian Open, but even she was surprised that she reached 50 winners in the match.
He smiled and said: "A lot, huh? My brother wrote me, I can not believe it, really"
Halep also committed 50 unforced errors, but who tells them?
The 1.63 meter Halep is known for its speed on the court and its nimble hands, not necessarily its power. But she believes he's a different player than he was last year, in part, thanks to coach Darren Cahill. She credits her with helping her to be mentally stronger and avoid being too negative on the court.
Halep also showed a new style of tennis attack against Kerber. She said it is the first time she has reached 50 winners, adding, "I hope it's not the last."
Although both fell in the semifinals at Melbourne Park, Angelique Kerber and Elise Mertens will see big leaps in their rankings next week.
Former No. 1 Kerber, who lost to Simona Halep on Thursday, is expected to be back in the top 10 since last August, with seven rising to n. 9.
After fighting in 2017, he said: "I know I'm back, and I know I can play good tennis again in front of amazing crowds and playing tough games."
Mertens is expected to reach the 20th ranking ranking with his first appearance in a Grand Slam semifinal. The Belgian, who reached the tournament ranked 37th, lost against Caroline Wozniacki early in the morning.
When deciphering the top 20, he simply said "Wow". He added, however, that being top 20 is not his goal. She says: "No, I hope to go further."
Simona Halep advanced to her first Australian Open final after saving two match points and joining to defeat Angelique Kerber 3 -6, 6-4, 9-7 in the second women's semifinal on Thursday.
Both women had their chances of putting the match in the third set of 68 minutes.
Halep was serving for the match at 5-3, but broke up after Kerber finished a 26-stroke rally with a winning backhand that just cut the line. The German player fell to her knees and put her forehead on the court exhausted.
Halep had two match points in the next game, but Kerber saved the first with one backhand down the line and the second when Halep hit the field. net.
After Kerber broke to take a 6-5 lead, she had two match points of her own, but Halep saved them both and then stepped back to level the game at 6-all.
Serving at 7 -8, Kerber saved a third match point before Halep finally became fourth when the German sent a long ball.
Halep said after the match: "It was definitely very hard, now I'm shaking, I'm very excited because I could win this game."
Caroline Wozniacki has advanced to her first Australian Open final, beating Elise Mertens 6-3, 7-6 (2) in the first female semifinal Thursday.
Wozniacki was more stable than his 22-year-old opponent for much of the game, although he had his own wobbles towards the end. Wozniacki double-faulted twice while serving for the game at 5-4, which allowed Mertens to break serve and level the score to 5-all.
Wozniacki calmed her nerves, however, she fought two set points before closing her first match point in the tiebreaker.
Wozniacki said he began thinking about his defeat of the Australian Open semifinal against Li Na in 2011 when he wasted a match point. Then he tried to forget it.
She said: "I just tried to stay calm and I was lucky to get the victory."
Caroline Wozniacki won the first set 6-3 against Elise Mertens in the first of the women's semifinals at the Australian Open.
Wozniacki is bidding to make his first Australian Open final and the third major final in his career. She is a two-time runner-up at the US Open, but has yet to win a Grand Slam title.
The Danish player would also come a step closer to regain first place if he reaches the final. It has been six years since he last took the top spot and it would be the longest gap between the seasons at number 1 since the rankings were introduced in 1975.
Mertens, who trains at the Kim Clijsters Academy in Belgium, aims to reach the final of a Grand Slam in his fifth appearance in a major. Only five women made a grand finale in fewer appearances.
No. Number one Simona Halep will face two-time main winner Angelique Kerber in the second semifinal.
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