An emotional Caroline Wozniacki finally lifted her first Grand Slam title at the 43rd attempt as she beat Simona Halep in three energy-sapping sets to win the Australian Open on Saturday.
The Dane, who will become the new world number one, burst into tears as she secured the championship 7-6 (7/2), 3-6, 6-4 against the battling Romanian top seed on her first match point of a gruelling, epic encounter.
‘I’ve dreamt of this moment for so many years,’ said second seeded Wozniacki after becoming the first player from
Denmark to win a Grand Slam.
‘My voice is shaking. I never cry, but this is a very emotional moment.
‘I want to congratulate Simona, I know it’s a tough day,’ she added after receiving the trophy from Billie Jean King.
‘I’m sorry that I had to win today but I’m sure we’ll have many matches in the future and it was an incredible match and an incredible fight and again, I’m sorry.’
Wozniacki, 27, had to overcome bouts of nerves throughout the long match. She wobbled when serving for the first set at 5-3 and had to come through a tiebreak.
‘I want to thank my fiance,’ she said, looking up to American basketball player David Lee in her box. ‘I was a nervous wreck this morning, I wanted to win so bad, but you calmed me down.’
Both players needed medical attention on court before the Dane prevailed in 2hr 49min on Rod Laver Arena.
For Wozniacki, victory meant shedding at last the unwanted moniker of best player never to
win a major, having reached the US Open final in 2009 and 2014, and first becoming number one in 2010.
For Halep, who surrendered her number one status to Wozniacki in defeat, the wait goes on.
‘It’s not easy to talk now but first of all I want to congratulate Caroline,’ said Halep, who was also appearing in her third Grand Slam final and first in Australia.
‘She played amazing. It’s been a great tournament for me. Of course I’m sad I couldn’t win today but Caroline was better than me.
‘But I will fight and hopefully I will face another challenge like I did today. I’m sad that I couldn’t make it the third time, but maybe the fourth time will be with luck.’
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