Caroline Wozniacki defeated top-seeded Simona Halep 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 to win the Australian Open Saturday. This was Wozniacki’s third Grand Slam final, and her 43rd major, and just her first Grand Slam title. 43 attempts is fourth-most ever before a first win in Women’s Open Era history; I am getting loopy just imagining her relief. Per ESPN:
“I’m never going to get the question again about being a world No. 1 without a Slam,” she said after leaving the court.
Wozniacki will reclaim the world number one as a result of her victory over Halep; it will be her first time as the top ranked player since she lost it after bowing out of the quarterfinal of the 2012 Australian Open. Per ESPN, that six year gap between appearances at the top is a record.
Both players were banged up in the match: Halep was playing with an injured ankle, while Wozniacki’s left knee required attention during the third set. Wozniacki won an absolutely bonkers point at 30-all, up five games to four in the third set (about 4:13 in the video above); this was the final turning point. Match point was won when Halep pounded a practice-court backhand into the net.