No pressure, then. Not only is the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup up for grabs on Saturday night, there is also the small matter of $4.5million in prize money. Oh, and just in case you thought that was not enough, whoever wins the Australian Open 2019 women’s final will be the new world No.1. No pressure at all, then.
Simona Halep, the outgoing top banana, has been looking down on her rivals from the top of the rankings pile since February 26 last year. She first took pole position in the October of 2017, having chased the elusive ranking around the circuit for the previous five months.
She kept coming so close – one match away on three occasions – and still she could not claim it for her own. And then she won the title in Beijing, the points added up and she was finally crowned as the best player on the planet. And apart from a brief spell after the Australian Open last year when Caroline Wozniacki deposed her after winning in Melbourne, she has stayed there ever since.