Career to-do list complete: Wozniacki beats Halep to win first Grand Slam at the Australian Open and return to No.1

Good things come to those who wait, and work hard. After years of withstanding criticism for being a slamless No.1, Caroline Wozniacki is returning to the top of the WTA rankings in style by beating top-ranked Simona Halep 7-6(2) 3-6 6-4 in a high-quality Australian Open final. Everything has gotten into place in Wozniacki’s life: she’s returning to the No.1 ranking after six years, she finally has a Grand Slam title to her name and she has a supportive and handsome new fiancé.

After leading for the most part of the first set, Wozniacki lost that advantage in the tenth game when Halep held serve at love for the third time in the match. The Dane then edged the set in a tiebreak, but in the second set converted none of her seven break points, while Halep, who had her blood pressure and pulse evaluated midway through the set, made use of her sole break point and the thrilling final was taken to the decider. Halep recovered from 0-2 to 4-3 in the third set and Wozniacki had a medical timeout for her left knee, but eventually it was the Romanian whose batteries were running low, and the 27-year-old Wozniacki squeezed through the set by breaking her opponent twice more.

Deep and precise shots, her signature defense expertise and outstanding aggression, earned the second-seeded Wozniacki the most precious moment of her illustrious career. Note that Wozniacki has already spent 67 weeks at No,1, more than Venus, Clijsters, Capriati, Sanchez Vicario, Muguruza and Goolagong COMBINED, as Ben Rothenberg reminded us on Twitter. Moreover, this is her 28th career title.

It was an amazing final played between the world’s two highest ranked players, who both saved match points en route to the championship match. Wozniacki’s run to the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup included wins over Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-2 6-3 in the first round, Jana Fett 3-6 6-2 7-5 in the second, Kiki Bertens 6-4 6-3 in the third, Magdalena Rybarikova 6-3 6-0 in the last 16, Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0 6-7(3) 6-2 in the quarterfinals, Elise Mertens 6-3 7-6(2) in the semis, and finally over Halep, which is the Dane’s first victory over a Top 5 player at a Grand Slam.

Wozniacki’s winning apparel: the Stella McCartney yellow and white separates, as well as the Adidas Melbourne Jumpsuit, available both at Tennis Warehouse USA and Tennis Warehouse EuropeAdidas aSMC Barricade Boost Shoes, Adidas Core SuperLite Visor, and Adidas Spring Stella McCartney Jacket.

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11 thoughts on “Career to-do list complete: Wozniacki beats Halep to win first Grand Slam at the Australian Open and return to No.1

  1. ozzie

    I am just soooooo happy for Caro. She genuinely deserves it, she has proven his critics wrong though I know most people will say that the women field is not strong or wide open because Serena did not play. But winning a Grand Slam is the hardest and she just did it. Truly hard work pays off.

    I will say that this year’s women matches in AO are ver exciting. Can’t wait for the rest of the season.
    #NolongeraJOURNEYMAN

  2. TheRealDeal

    To be honest, I would’ve been fine with either of these two winning the title, for they both have gotten older (even at number 1 various times) with no titles under their belt. What I notice about Caroline is how much power tennis she’s now playing, including a much better serve, since hiring Serena’s former hitting partner, Sasha; even her service placement is very similar to Serena’s. I must admit, I actually thought Halep or Kerber had this title in their pocket, based upon the way they’ve been playing throughout the AO. They both grind to get almost every ball back, as does Wozniacki. I’m presently watching this final on TV, so I certainly hope Caroline had sense enough to thank Serena Williams for her win (are they still so-called besties??). Had the iconic living legend Serena Williams not been missing in action due to giving birth, everyone in their right mind knows it would’ve been lights out for all of the females competing for the title. I’m sure the TV ratings were down at this year’s AO with the GOAT MIA; it’s never the same when she’s not competing. Nonetheless, “Congrats, Caroline Wozniacki. Now, please don’t be a one-hit wonder; get some consistency going throughout the remainder of your tennis career.” After giving birth via C-section, it’ll be interesting to see if Serena actually returns to the court for Fed Cup. With her being the strongest and best female tennis player in the game both mentally and physically, and the most consistent with consecutive wins at majors, breaking Margaret Court’s record is just around the bend. The Open-Era record is already hers, but I wonder why I never hear commentators mentioning that.

  3. Margit Hansen

    Her half of the draw included Svitolina and Ostapenko But they were beaten and she had to meet Their opponents. The last few months she has beaten 3 reigning number ones, Pliskova, Muguruza And Halep (even twice)
    She has owned the 4th highest amount of Price money after Serena, Venus, and Sharapova. She is now in her 68th week of being number one. She is 27. She has won the final of the WTA season in a final match against Venus.
    She deserves it. She hasbeen working hard against many odds.

  4. Marija Post author

    The final was outstanding and both players deserved to win, but I have to admit that this time I rooted for Caro, because of the length of time she’s been awaiting this major title and everything she’s gone through. Her dedication and perseverance prove the strength of her character and I’m so happy she’ll not end her career as a “slamless No.1”, getting the AO title so many years after climbing to the top of the rankings for the first time. I wish JJ could do it as well, but that’s practically impossible.

    TheRealDeal, I haven’t seen any recent pics of the besties, but Serena did wholeheartedly congratulate Caro on the win. Maybe their obligations and lack of time are now preventing them from seeing each other so often.

  5. Margit Hansen

    I am sorry for the spelling problems in the last post I sent, my spelling control sometimes make odd things.
    I agree with you that both players played well and deserved to win, and so did Caro in her speech. But I do not understand why the real deal for you is about besties? Can`t she just be judged on her achievements and not upon her friends, her dresses, her boyfriends and so on?

  6. JohnnyB

    The best player in Wozniacki’s half of the draw, Svitolina, was injured. Halep was physically exhausted before her match and had to be hospitalized after her finals match. I don’t remember any slam winner playing such low ranked players. Yes, it is nice to see Wozniacki win a slam but I need to see some more positive results if she is indeed the best woman player in 2018.

  7. Claire

    Oh yes, I totally agree – she deserves it and I am happy for her to finally achieve it. And of course, there are always injuries at this level of tennis but they also seem to grow when you lose…. 😉

  8. Margit Hansen

    Her number one rank does not come out of nothing. As you may notice there are other tournaments than grand slams

  9. emmanuel damian

    Caro really deserved it. I was rooting for her and Angie on this tournament. I would have loved seeing them both in the finals but Simona was so strong. I know Simona will win eventually in the right time. Caro really improved her game overall. She’s serving better, forehand is much consistent and of course her bread & butter backhand shot. I think she really earned this spot because she really worked hard for it. She took advantage of the draw and the absence of her rivals. She plays much more confident and she does not stop improving herself. I’m happy she’s not slamless anymore.

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