13 years and 43 major appearances after turning professional, Caroline Wozniacki can call herself a Grand Slam singles champion. She overcame world number 1 Simona Halep in an astonishing Australian Open final this morning, winning 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-4 in a gruelling final that ended eleven minutes shy of the three-hour mark.
The match was played in 30-degree heat, and with the air carrying a stifling humidity, both were battling their own exhaustion as much as their opponent by the final set, which featured a remarkable five breaks of serve. That Halep, in particular, made it that far is a testament to iron will: she was struggling in the second set with leaden legs - a doctor took her blood pressure during a medical break in the second set - but she somehow recovered to win the set.
Critically final break went Wozniacki's way, after she had spent an uncomfortable few minutes with the trainer, resulting in her trotting back to the court with a bandaged knee. After that break, she held serve to finally, finally, join the elite.
Here's the magic moment:
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 27, 2018
It's fair to say just about everyone was delighted for Wozniacki.
Australian Open Final Reaction
— Johanna Konta (@JoKonta91) January 27, 2018
I got too nervous to watch but woke up to @CaroWozniacki new number one and aussie open champ. So awesome. So happy. Are those tears? Yup they are. 😭 from a year ago to today I'm so proud my friend so proud. Literally can't even sleep now
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) January 27, 2018
A wonderful advert for women’s tennis. 💥 https://t.co/6r4Fto8MaA
— judy murray (@JudyMurray) January 27, 2018
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 27, 2018
After 12 and a half years as a professional, 67 weeks as world No.1 and 811 matches, @CaroWozniacki is at long last a Grand Slam champion 🏆
She beats Simona Halep 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-4 to win the @AustralianOpen 🇩🇰#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/wpIb4FxVeS
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) January 27, 2018
Yeeeessss!!!!! Sooo happy @CaroWozniacki ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️💪💪💪💪
— Jelena Djokovic (@JelenaRisticNDF) January 27, 2018
Biggest achievement by a Danish athlete ever!!
You make your country so proud
— Thomas Bjorn (@thomasbjorngolf) January 27, 2018
Cant both of these ladies win 😩 they both deserve it #ausopen
— Heather Watson (@HeatherWatson92) January 27, 2018
— Annabel Croft (@Annabel_Croft) January 27, 2018