Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki lifts her first Grand Slam title

Updated: Jan 28, 2018, 10:40 IST | AFP

Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki lifts her first Grand Slam title at the 43rd attempt as she beat Romania's Simona Halep 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 6-4 to win Australian Open

Denmarks Caroline Wozniacki celebrates beating Romania’s Simona Halep in the womens singles final at Melbourne on Saturday. pic/AFP
Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki celebrates beating Romania's Simona Halep in the womens singles final at Melbourne on Saturday. pic/AFP 

Caroline Wozniacki finally lifted her first Grand Slam title at the 43rd attempt as she beat Simona Halep 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 6-4 to win the Australian Open on Saturday. The Dane, who will take over as World No. 1, burst into tears as she secured the title against the battling Romanian top seed on her first match point of a grueling, epic encounter.

Both players needed medical attention on court before the Dane prevailed in 2hour 49minutes in energy-sapping hot and humid conditions on Rod Laver Arena. Wozniacki, 27, has long carried 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. Both of them were in their third major final — their first in Australia — and both had saved match points in earlier rounds to get there.

Wozniacki started stronger and broke Halep's opening service game with the early evening temperature still above 30 Celsius (86 Farenheit). The Dane sped into a 3-0 lead behind a consistent first serve. Wozniacki had not won a set in either of her previous two Grand Slam final appearances and tightened visibly serving for this one at 5-3.

Halep aggressively took advantage and moved to three break points at 0-40. A big second serve and a first ace saved two of them but the relentless Halep forced Wozniacki long with a sliced forehand and the final was back on serve. In the tiebreak the Dane went 4-1 up before a second mini-break and two solid serves gave her the tiebreak 7-2. Wozniacki was growing in confidence and Halep needed to save four break points at 1-1 in the second set in a brutal game that lasted 11 minutes.

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