"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.
Caroline Wozniacki: Grand Slam CHAMPION ??The No.2 outlasts No.1 Simona Halep in a gruelling, intense, epic final 7-6(2) 3-6 6-4. Congratulations @CaroWozniacki!!!#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/slNHT8j2XU — #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 27, 2018
"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."
This is what it means to win your first Grand Slam and become world number one again. Wozniacki: "I've dreamt of this moment for so many years. I'm shaking so much, I think I might cry." Reaction: https://t.co/3vcfljl8nJ #bbctennis pic.twitter.com/0rPozDX7Pt— BBC Tennis (@bbctennis) January 27, 2018
Wozniacki started the stronger, breaking Halep's opening service game with the early evening temperature still above 30 Celsius (86 Farenheit) before racing into a 3-0 lead. She had not won a set in either of her previous two Grand Slam final appearances and tightened visibly serving for this one, and the set headed for a tiebreak. The Dane went 4-1 up before a second mini-break and two solid serves gave her the tiebreak 7-2.
"I felt ready. But the body was not ready because I had so many long matches. The muscles were tired. The feet were not good enough. But mentally I was ready. I feel that I can face any challenge. I can play against anyone. I can win against anyone." -Simona #Halep#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/POEczDMkN9— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 27, 2018
The tournament's extreme heat policy was invoked meaning the players took a 10-minute break before the start of the third set. When they resumed neither of them could hold their serve until Wozniacki, after having a timeout to have her left knee strapped, held for 5-4 to force Halep to serve to stay in the match. She couldn't manage it and a backhand into the net brought an end to her brave challenge.
Third time lucky!Caroline Wozniacki wins her first Grand Slam title by beating Simona Halep 7-6 3-6 6-4 in a marathon #ausopen final. Report: https://t.co/JY91tjnATW #bbctennis pic.twitter.com/Y8qRZbfNJY — BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 27, 2018