Queen for a day.
Queen for a day.

Caroline Wozniacki’s epic piece of Australian Open history

CAROLINE Wozniacki's painful wait is over after tennis's perennial grand slam bridesmaid finally reigned with a compelling Australian Open final triumph.

he Danish superstar is set to take the No. 1 ranking after she overcame Simona Halep in one of the most unforgettable and brutal grand slam finals ever seen.

Wozniacki had to come back from a break down in the final set as the two combatants delivered a final of pure entertainment, drama and class.

In a gripping climax to one of the most memorable women's Opens on record, Wozniacki wore down battered top seed Simona Halep 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-4 in two hours and 50 minutes of incredibly intense tennis on Saturday night.

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.

Like prized fighters, the two combatants traded blow for blow all night, with Wozniacki ultimately prevailing after clubbing 110 winners to Halep's 108.

In denying the brave but vanquished Halep her own elusive grand slam breakthrough, Wozniacki not only usurped the Romanian as world No. 1 but also delivered Denmark its maiden grand slam singles crown.

"I've dreamt of this moment for so many years. It's a dream come true," Wozniacki said after landing her 28th career title, the $4 million winner's purse and at least a 68th week as world No.1 - precisely six years after relinquishing top status at the 2012 Open.

"My voice is shaking. It's an emotional moment."

Wozniacki's stirring victory completed one of sport's great comeback tales after the 27-year-old spiralled to 74th in the world in August 2016, just 23 months after falling short in her second US Open final.

It's taken her 11 years, 43 majors, 256 tournaments, 772 matches and untold hours of toil and tears to shed her tag as tennis's most accomplished talent without a grand slam win.

That unwanted "honour" now cruelly belongs to Halep.

The 26-year-old's shattering defeat follows finals losses on the Paris clay in 2014 and 2017.

The Romanian must settle for a $2 million consolation pay day after coming up short in her historic quest to become the first woman to win a major after saving match points in multiple matches.

"It's not easy to talk now but, first of all, I want to congratulate Caroline. She played amazing all tournament," Halep said graciously in defeat.

"It's been a great tournament for me. I started not very well with an ankle injury. But I just wanted to give my best every match, which I did. "I'm really happy I could play the final again in a grand slam."

News Corp Australia

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