Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki is the first Dane to win a Grand Slam singles title after beating Romanian Simona Halep to win her first Grand Slam title.
The second seed won 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-4 in punishing conditions to finally land a major title at the 43rd attempt to regain the number one ranking at the Australian Open.
“I dreamt of this moment for so many years, and to be here today is a dream come true,” said Wozniacki.
The victory means the 27-year-old will replace Halep as number one in the world rankings on Monday.
Halep, too, had been hoping to end the wait for a first major title to add to her number one ranking, but she has now lost in the Australian Open final as well as two French Opens.
“Of course I am sad but Caroline was better than me,” she said.
“I fight and have many years to go, so hopefully will face another challenge like today.”
Wozniacki has spent 67 weeks at number one in her career, but it had been six years to the day since she last reached those heights, and four years since her second and last Grand Slam final, BBC reports.
By the time her ranking had plummeted to 74th in 2016, few thought she would ever be in contention for the major prizes again.
A change of approach was required and in tandem with her father and coach, Piotr, they developed a more attacking style that has taken her back to the top of the game.
With more pace off forehand and backhand, a much improved serve, and a gameplan to go on the offensive rather than rely on her athletic defence, Wozniacki climbed back up the rankings.
Six runner-up finishes in 2017 showed progress, despite concerns over whether she could go the last step, but victory in Tokyo, and then the biggest win of her career at the WTA Finals, set her up perfectly for 2018.
“Last but not least, I want to thank my dad who has been there since I was seven,” said Wozniacki.
“We’ve had ups and down, but you’ve been there every step of the way.”