World number one Simona Halep edged out 2016 champion Angelique Kerber 6-3 4-6 9-7 in a thrilling encounter to reach her first Australian Open final on Thursday.

Kerber, seeded 21st, fought off two match points in the 10th game of the final set before seeing two of her own go begging two games later.

Halep came back and broke serve, before edging through to victory in a two-hour and 20 minutes classic.

The semi-final victory was the second time Halep saved match points this fortnight, as she also came back from the brink in her third round victory over American Lauren Davis which went 15-13 in the final set.

"I just had confidence in myself, I told myself to fight for every point and then rest afterwards," Halep said in an on-court interview.

"I tried to stay calm but today I was like a roller coaster. I didn't give up though and, if you don't give up, you can win matches. I am proud of myself."

The 26-year-old Romanian set up a Saturday final with second seed Caroline Wozniacki, who defeated surprise Belgian semi-finalist Elise Mertens 6-3 7-6(2).

Wozniacki showed her experience in saving two set points in the second set before she won the tiebreak to secure victory.

World number 49 Kyle Edmund's remarkable run at Melbourne Park came to an end with a 6-2 7-6(4) 6-2 defeat by Croatian sixth seed Marin Cilic in the semi-finals.

Cilic reached his third grand slam final, where he will face defending champion Roger Federer or South Korea's Chung Hyeon.


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