Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Caroline Wozniacki wins thrilling Australian Open women's final against Simona Halep

Caroline Wozniacki wins thrilling Australian Open women's final against Simona Halep Caroline Wozniacki wins thrilling Australian Open women's final against Simona Halep
Melinda Barton | 27 January, 2018, 15:15

Halep and Wozniacki, both in their third major tournament final, are in search of their first-career Grand Slam title, and the victor of Saturday's Australian Open women's singles final will be the No. 1 ranked player in the WTA world rankings.

"It's not easy to talk now but first of all I want to congratulate Caroline, she played unbelievable".

For the second time in the day and the second time at the tournament, conditions were such to bring the Extreme Heat Policy into play and that meant the pair could take a 10-minute break in the cool of the locker room.

However, it was Wozniacki who showed the first sign of weakness in the set, her forehand losing its penetration as Halep broke for 5-3 despite appearing close to cramping. But Halep upped the aggression, losing just four points on serve en route to breaking back and sending the opening set into a tie-break.

Both Halep and Wozniacki have tasted defeat in two Grand Slam finals before.

Wozniacki led 2-0 and 3-1 but both times Halep battled back and, when she broke for 4-3, the momentum seemed to be with the top seed.

Wozniacki, runner-up to Kim Clijsters in 2009 and Serena Williams in 2014, has also benefited from her time on the big stage.

Halep will try and play more aggressive whilst Wozniacki will keep chasing down balls and will look to keep errors to a minimum. The Romanian then faced three break points in her next service game, but saved all of them and finally closed out the set on her third set point.

Halep reached her third Grand Slam final after coming through an epic semi-final with tournament favourite Angelique Kerber, claiming a 6-3, 4-6.

And when Wozniacki came to serve for it at 5-3, it seemed she was feeling the pressure when she fell 0/40 down.

Wozniacki went ahead in the tiebreaker, winning the last three points.

In 2011, she was officially the best player in the world for all but one week of the year.

When they resumed Wozniacki held before wearing Halep down with a series of long rallies and securing the break for 2-0 as the match clock hit the two-hour mark.

The effort seemed to be taking its toll on the Romanian in the hot and humid conditions.

Wozniacki won their last encounter in October at the loss of two games. Yet Saturday morning's Australian Open finalists have not been so fortunate.

American Sebastian Korda, son of 1998 Australian Open men's champion Petr Korda, won the boys singles title on Saturday, beating Tseng Chun Hsin of Taiwan 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the final on Rod Laver Arena.

Soon after Halep signalled to her coach Darren Cahill in the player's box that she wasn't feeling well and there were worrying scenes as she had her blood pressure taken and an ice towel applied in the next changeover.