Sports

Wozniacki leads Halep 7-6 (2) in women's final

Wozniacki leads Halep 7-6 (2) in women's final

It seemed as though it might never happen, but nine years after her first Grand Slam final Caroline Wozniacki has finally won one, beating Simona Halep 7-6 3-6 6-4 at the Australian Open.

Her win tonight also, fun fact, makes her the first Danish grand slam victor.

Halep has come much closer to breaking through, losing 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6 to Maria Sharapova in the 2014 French Open final, and agonisingly, to Jelena Ostapenko, an unseeded 20-year-old from Latvia, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, in last year's French Open final.

"I cried (after the match) but now I'm smiling", she said.

It was a match that took place in the first month of the year, but will surely be remembered at season-end as one of the best of 2018.

"I'm never going to get the question again about being a world No. 1 without a Slam", she said after leaving the court.

However, anyone thinking that this would be a positive for Halep needs to think again - the Romanian is also 0-2 in Slam finals, and was a much shorter price than Wozniacki in both, including starting at [1.33] against Jelena Ostapenko in Paris at the French Open a year ago.

And she was serving to stay in the match at 5-4 down in the final set, but the Dane dramtically broke her to make history.

The Great Dane wept tears of joy after also returning to the top of the rankings - ending a record six-year stint between drinks - with the watershed win at Melbourne Park. "I'm sorry I'm just taking a second to hug Daphne".

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"I also want to congratulate Simona". "I had a tough period where I had a few injuries".

"I'm sorry that I had to win today but I'm sure we'll have many matches in the future". But I'm okay with the way I played. If I beat him, it is very, very happy. She said after the match.

Both Halep and Wozniacki had previously lost two Grand Slam finals — Halep twice at the French Open and Wozniacki twice at the U.S. Open.

It was the first time that the top two seeds had met in an Open Era Grand Slam final with neither having won a major before and Wozniacki became the first Dane to win a major. Halep saved three match points in her 15-13 in the third set win over American Lauren Davis in the third round and four match points in her 9-7 in the third set win over Angelique Kerber in the semifinals.

Halep made a nervy start to the finale. I'm a little bit exhausted of course because I had so many hours on court. "We've had ups and down, but you've been there every step of the way".

Halep was playing with an injured left ankle, needed treatment for dizziness in the second set and had rallied from a break down in the third set to lead 4-3 when Wozniacki took a medical time out to have her left knee taped.

"I also want to thank my dad", Wozniacki added of her coach Piotr Wozniacki.

The heat rule was in effect should either player wish to use it, and Halep took the chance to halt proceedings for 10 minutes and allow both finalists to head off court in search of air-conditioning.


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