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While "The Golden Retriever" moniker will stay with Wozniacki for eternity, her other label as the greatest tennis player to never win a major singles title will not.

The final set was a mental and physical examination for both.

Seven months ago, Halep left Roland Garros heartbroken. She tied the score, then won the game, and eventually the match, 6-3, 4-6, 9-7. Halep had previously lost the 2014 and 2017 French Open finals, once as an underdog to Maria Sharapova in 2014 and as the favorite to Jelena Ostapenko a year ago.

"From being nearly out of the tournament to sitting here with the Australian Open trophy, it's unbelievable", Wozniacki said. And her semi-final defeat by China's Li Na at Melbourne Park in 2011 when she had a match point counts among her most disappointing losses. Halep has now appeared in three Grand Slam finals throughout her career.

She wobbled when serving for the set at 5-3 when a hollering fan broke her focus. No. 6 Karolina Pliskova, 6-3, 6-2 Halep def.

Kerber's legs were fading while Halep, who has been playing with a dodgy ankle was still sprinting.

The last time that the top two players met in the final of any professional women's event - let alone a Grand Slam - was at this event in 2015. She overcame her fears and snatched the victory with both hands.

Doesn't get more courageous than that!

On a broiling day in Melbourne, the second-seeded Wozniacki outdueled Halep in a match that lasted almost three hours to become the first player from Denmark to win a Grand Slam singles event. You've been up match points, and lost it. Kerber leaves Melbourne with nothing but positives from her Australian summer. Whoever ends up breaking her grand-slam duck, she would have followed the most scenic route to success.

Asked if she had ever thought that she might never win a Grand Slam title, Wozniacki said: "At certain points, especially when you start having injuries and stuff, you start maybe doubting if you're ever going to be 100 per cent healthy for longer periods of time".

Lee, an National Basketball Association champion with the Golden State Warriors in 2015, was there in the player's box living every point with his fiancée. She showed herself on Thursday that she can be fearless.

Wozniacki could not contain her emotions after her victory was confirmed. The regal Romanian has risen! Halep looked stable to hold for 5-all but arguably the best point of the night from Wozniacki set up match point, which ended with a backhand in the net from Halep. I knew at that point I have to hit it hard, I have to just go for it cross-court.

"I've believed in myself for so long". I think I was more nervous before the semi-finals.

"Every time I was like: "Oh, I can't do this any more, I'm exhausted.' We were playing all these insane long rallies".

We have seen flashes of this kind of aggressive game from Halep in the past. On their six matches, three have been straight-set wins and three have been three-setters. More of the same, please!


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