Caroline Wozniacki continued her stellar start to 2018 by reigning victorious in the Australian Open for the first time in her career. After 43 majors appearances, Caroline’s triumphant win in Melbourne makes her a Grand Slam Champion.
She reached the Quarterfinals after victories over Mihaela Buzarnescu in Round 128 (6-2, 6-3), Jana Fett in Round 64 (3-6, 6-2, 7-5), Kiki Bertens in Round 32 (6-4, 6-3), and Magdalena Rybarikova (6-3, 6-0). Caroline would meet Carla Suarez Navarro in the QF, and won the first seven games of the match. In the second set, Caroline would trail 4-2 before staging an impressive comeback. Caroline would go on to defeat Navarro 6-0, 6-7(3), 6-2, advancing to the Semifinal to square off against Elise Mertens.
Caroline coasted early on, but an intense Mertens forced a tiebreaker, which Caroline would go on to dominate.
The Dane survived the Semifinal 6-3, 7-6(2), and she was on to her very first Autralian Open Final. “It means so much to me,” Caroline said about her win. “I knew I had to try and stay calm.” Calm she stayed, as she had World No. 1 Simona Halep awaiting her in the Final.
The 2-hour, 49-minute match featured some long, absorbing rallies and 10 service breaks -- including six in an eight-game run in the third set. In a punishing final contested amid stifling heat, Caroline ultimately triumphed with a 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-4 win over Halep. Caroline is now a Grand Slam Champion, and she earned it with such an impressive performance throughout the tournament.
"I'm sorry, I'm just taking a second to hug Daphne," Wozniacki said as she clutched the winner's trophy in the on-court ceremony. "I dreamt of this moment so many years. To be here now, it's a dream come true."
Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" played over the stadium speakers as the 27-year-old Danish player carried the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup around Rod Laver Arena.
More than seven years after appearing in her first Grand Slam final at the 2009 US Open, Wozniacki can finally add "Grand Slam Champion" to her impressive résumé.
With the win, Caroline will also regain the top ranking next week for the first time in six years -- beating Serena Williams' record of 5 years, 29 days between stints at No. 1 on the women's tour -- in another benefit of beating the top-seeded Halep.
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