Caroline Wozniacki edged past Simona Halep in an epic Australian Open final on Saturday to claim her maiden Grand Slam title.
It was the first time in the Open era that players ranked No. 1 and 2 were meeting in a major final without either having won a Grand Slam title.
It was also the first time in the Open era that both Australian Open finalists had saved match points before reaching the final.
Caroline Wozniacki played 43 majors before and had two failed attempts in finals before finally claiming her first Grand Slam singles title.
Nine years after her first Grand Slam final defeat, and 17 months after she was ranked 74th, the Dane was overcome.
She lost the 2009 United States Open final to Kim Clijsters and the 2014 United States Open final to Serena Williams.
One of the first things she did as a champion was apologize to top-seeded Simona Halep following her 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-4 win in the Australian Open final on Saturday night.
“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” said Wozniacki.
The victory means the 27-year-old will replace Halep as number one in the world rankings on Monday.
Twice a runner-up at the US Open, Wozniacki becomes the first Dane to win a Grand Slam singles title.
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.”
Halep, who was playing with an injured left ankle and had rallied from a break down in the third set to lead 4-3 when Wozniacki took a medical time out to have her left knee taped, just ran out of steam.
“It’s not easy to talk now, she played amazing,” Halep said. “It’s been a great tournament for me. I started not very well with the ankle injury. I just wanted to give my best every match, which I did. Of course I’m sad I couldn’t win today but Caroline was better than me.
“Sad that I couldn’t make it the third time, maybe the fourth time will be with luck.”