Mertens keeps calm, collected in Australian Open bid

MELBOURNE – Unseeded Elise Mertens has extended a breakout year to storm into the semi-finals of her Australian Open debut by keeping a cool head and honing her technical skills.

The 22-year-old will become the first Belgian to reach a grand slam semi since Kirsten Flipkens’ 2013 Wimbledon foray on Thursday, after thrashing fourth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in two sets.

In the youngster’s biggest ticket to date, she faces a goliath in Dane Caroline Wozniacki, who will be thirsty for a first grand slam title and who already sent her packing once, in Sweden last July.

But Mertens is unlikely to melt under pressure, coach Robbe Ceyssens who is also her boyfriend, told Reuters.

“I think she can handle her stress really well,” Mertens said.

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