Wozniacki, 27, and Halep, 26, are the most successful active players who have yet to win a major title. Each was a teenage prodigy who eventually made it to No. 1 in the world. Each has been a focus of great, sometimes suffocating interest in her home country: Wozniacki in Denmark, and Halep in Romania.
Each has reached two Grand Slam singles finals.
Will the third time be lucky? Well, yes, but for only one of them. The loser will have to keep wondering why she cannot manage to win a big one.
“I don’t think I believe in luck,” Wozniacki said. “Obviously you sometimes have to be a little lucky, but I believe in preparation and effort. I believe if you really put everything into it, eventually things are going to go your way. In the end of the day, no matter what happens on Saturday, all I know is that I’ve given it my best. Win or lose, I’m going to be very proud of my efforts these two weeks.”
She and Halep should feel proud to still be at Melbourne Park at this stage. Both were on the brink of elimination more than once here.