After 43 grand slam appearances, it was finally Caroline Wozniackis turn. The 27-year-olds maiden and elusive major makes her the first Danish player to win a grand slam singles title after prevailing over a fearsome and spirited Simona Halep in three brilliant sets, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-4.
The nature of the gruelling affair spoke of the resolve of a deserved winner, even if there was also no deserved loser. After six long years, Wozniacki regains world No 1 status, replacing Halep at the top of the rankings an incredible turnaround of form for a player who dropped as low as No 74 as recently as August 2016.
Wozniacki held back tears as she addressed the crowd. I dreamed of this moment for so many years, she said. To be here today is a dream come true. I never cry, but today is an emotional moment.
The victor also acknowledged the vanquished and the pain she was experiencing in coming so close to her own maiden slam title. They had previously been a runner-up on two occasions and the new world No 1 said it was easy to empathise with the Romanian. I knew going into the match one of us was going to be very disappointed and sad afterwards, she said. I can only imagine [how she is feeling] … I know that I didnt want to think too much about what it would be like to win beforehand, because I knew how much it would hurt to lose.
I just tried to go in focused and calm so Im sure it must be hard for her right now.
Wozniacki admitted that her medical timeout, taken in the third set when trailing 4-3, had enabled her to refocus on her gameplan, and take a more aggressive game to the Romanian. She takes the ball very early, I needed to take the pressure to her I knew I had to step in and hit more freely. I knew if I didnt I was out.
Both players struggled with conditions on another humid and hot day, with a 10-minute enforced timeout at the end of the second set appearing to work to Wozniackis advantage after Halep had rallied to force the deciding set. It was very hot and we were very tired, Wozniacki said. But we fought our hardest and Im very proud to be here with the trophy.