In year’s past, it has been common to expect the men’s side of Grand Slams to come down to the top seeds and the women’s side to be more wide-open and difficult to predict. But those roles have been reversed at the 2018 Australian Open, as the players like Hyeon Chung, Kyle Edmund and Tennys Sandgren have made deep runs on the men’s draw, while the women’s final will come down to No. 1 Simona Halep vs No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki.
If you live in the United States, the match will start late Thursday night/early Friday morning at around 3:30 a.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPN. That means you can watch a live stream via WatchESPN if you have a cable log-in, but if you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV (AKA you want to watch in bed on your phone), you can watch the match online, on your phone or on another streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services. They cost a monthly fee but all come with a free trial, so you can watch the rest of the Australian Open at no cost:
DirecTV Now: There are four main channel packages, and ESPN, ESPN 2 and ESPN 3 are included in all of them. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, and once signed up, you can watch ESPN’s coverage on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app
Sling TV: ESPN, ESPN 2 and ESPN 3 are all included in the “Sling Orange” base package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here, and then you can watch ESPN on your computer via the Sling website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
PlayStation Vue: There are four main channel packages, and ESPN, ESPN 2 and ESPN 3 are included in all of them. You can sign up for a free 5-day trial right here, and then you can watch ESPN on your computer via the PS Vue website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the PlayStation Vue app
Note: You can watch ESPN on your computer via the WatchESPN website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the WatchESPN app. When asked to sign in to your TV provider, you can use your DirecTV Now, Sling TV or PS Vue credentials to sign in.
Despite being ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in the world, Halep and Wozniacki have zero Grand Slam titles between them.
Halep, who has 16 career WTA titles and six WTA Premier titles, has made a pair of Grand Slam final appearances, losing in the 2014 and 2017 French Open tournaments. Her furthest run in the Australian Open prior to this year was the quarterfinals, which she reached in both 2014 and 2015. Wozniacki, who tops Halep with 27 career WTA titles but has just five Premier titles and none since 2011, has also been to two Grand Slam finals, losing in the 2009 and 2014 US Open.
Ultimately, it’s two very similar resumes. But when it comes to head-to-head history, Wozniacki holds the slight advantage with four wins in six matchups, including a straight-set victory over Halep in the WTA Championships a year ago.
It’s been two different roads to this point. A steady climb for Halep, who has secured the majority of her wins and best moments since 2014, and a roller-coaster for Wozniacki, who reached No. 1 as a 20-year-old, struggled with inconsistency between 2012 and 2016, and is in now the midst of a career resurgence.
On Saturday, though, one will finally cross the big one off the checklist: Grand Slam champion.