Wozniacki: "It’s not easy to talk now but first I want to congratulate Caroline, she played amazing. It’s been a great tournament for me. I started not very well with an ankle injury, but 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. But of course I’ll fight, and I have many years to go so hopefully I will face another challenge like I did today. Thankyou guys for supporting me every day in this tournament. It’s always nice to play in front of you and hopefully I’ll see you next year, in the same position."
Simona Halep - Caroline Wozniacki
Australian Open women - 27 January 2018
Australian Open – Follow the Tennis match between Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki live with Eurosport. The match starts at 16:30 on 27 January 2018. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Halep: "It’s not easy to talk now but first I want to congratulate Caroline, she played amazing. It’s been a great tournament for me. I started not very well with an ankle injury, but 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. But of course I’ll fight, and I have many years to go so hopefully I will face another challenge like I did today. Thankyou guys for supporting me every day in this tournament. It’s always nice to play in front of you and hopefully I’ll see you next year, in the same position."
Total points: Wozniacki 110-108 Halep.
HALEP 6-7 6-3 4-6 WOZNIACKI
That's it! CAROLINE WOZNIACKI IS THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN CHAMPION.
For Halep, it was the wrong time for a first double fault! She lets Wozniacki back into the game at 30-30 and then, frankly, the Dane wins two points that make her a worthy champion. Halep is on the offensive but Wozniacki's counter-punching, on both points, was simpy astonishing. Halep finally nets and Wozniacki falls to the floor. An historic contest.
So much sympathy for Simona Halep, who slumps in her seat with a towel over her head, but what a way for Wozniacki to become the first Dane to win a Grand Slam title!
Halep is now serving to stay in the final. Laver on tenterhooks.
HALEP 6-7 6-3 4-5 WOZNIACKI
Wozniacki is on course for a rare third-set hold at 40-15, only to tense up and double-fault.
A much better flat first-serve puts her in an aggressive frame of mind for the next point and Halep nets to leave the Dane a game away from a first Grand Slam title...
Not far off a third hour here...
HALEP 6-7 6-3 4-4 WOZNIACKI
Another break, the sixth in eight games! Halep slips to 0-30 as Wozniacki goes on the offensive but the World No.1 digs deep yet again, bringing it back to 30-30 when Wozniacki twice fires long after gruelling rallies.
But Wozniacki's counter-punching is superb and she brings up yet another BP, saved by Halep at the net. The Dane converts a second though and it's all square again.
Wozniacki is having tape applied just below her left knee and a rigorous massage from the trainer.
It was Halep struggling towards the end of the second set but now she seems to have found a second wind and you wonder how much Wozniacki has left...
HALEP 6-7 6-3 4-3 WOZNIACKI
There's no doubt that Halep is going after this more than Wozniacki now, as the Romanian breaks yet again to nudge ahead in the decider.
A string of weak second serves are punished by Halep and Wozniack trudges off and calls for the trainer...
HALEP 6-7 6-3 3-3 WOZNIACKI
A first hold of serve in five games and the first quick game this set. Halep rediscovers her focus, while the errors are mounting up for Wozniacki.
HALEP 6-7 6-3 2-3 WOZNIACKI
Four consecutive breaks of serve now as Wozniacki loses the first two on her own serve, and the fourth as well, before surrending her advantage with a forehand hit well wide. The heat and the pressure appears to be getting to both women now.
HALEP 6-7 6-3 1-3 WOZNIACKI
As you were! Wozniacki breaks to love. Superb return game from the Dane, who is back in the driving seat.
HALEP 6-7 6-3 1-2 WOZNIACKI
A pivotal game goes Halep's way. She is not nearly done yet. She punishes a tame Wozniacki second serve and then does the same to a first serve, firing across a superb backhand to set-up two BPs.
But Wozniacki saves both, before both women save game-points with some super aggressive hitting. Halep, in particularly, is digging deep over the course of six deuces but the Romanian eventually seals the game and a break-back when the Dane double faults.
HALEP 6-7 6-3 0-2 WOZNIACKI
No signs Wozniacki will revert to a defensive game as she continues to dominate Halep by pushing her from side to side. The Romanian is so short of energy, she has fallen deathly silent.
Even so, Halep continues to land blows on her serve but it is Wozniacki who breaks for the first time in the decider, trusting her forehand to hammer back a return that Halep cannot respond to. Big break, as we enter a third hour in Melbourne.
HALEP 6-7 6-3 0-1 WOZNIACKI
From 0-30 down, that's a really important hold for Wozniacki, given the way that second set finished. This match (and Slam) is there for the taking for the Dane, surely...
After a 10-minute heat break, the players are back on court. Wozniacki to serve.
Halep was certainly struggling towards the end of that second set. The question for the Dane is whether she continues on the attack or reverts to counter-punches to try to wear down her opponent.
HALEP 6-7 6-3 WOZNIACKI
On my, oh my. We're all square at 1-1 all and Simon Halep, who looked spent, has mentally bamboozled Caroline Wozniacki to take this to a decider.
On SP, Halep has an easy-looking opening on her forehand but she goes too big and it's an inch long. How big could that miss be?
Another SP comes around quickly but Wozniacki is back on the attack, forcing Halep to net. The Dane then brings up a BP but Halep saves and clinches the set two points later when Wozniacki strangely sends a return straight back at her.
HALEP 6-7 5-3 WOZNIACKI
At 15-30, up Halep clutches her left leg. She's hurting out there.
But Wozniacki nets and a limping Halep lands a forehand to go a break up! Against all the odds, the Romanian nudges ahead in this second set.
HALEP 6-7 4-3 WOZNIACKI
Another welcome sit-down for Halep after she clinches a game made-up of short, quick points -- surely a necessity for the Romanian at this stage.
HALEP 6-7 3-3 WOZNIACKI
The question from here is how much Simon Halep has left.
She's struggling out there and Wozniacki clinches the game when Halep sends a tired-looking backhand wide, which she hopefully challenges.
Before the final, Halep had been on court for 11-and-a-half hours, roughly the same as men's finalist Roger Federer. It's around 10 for Wozniacki.
Halep is having her blood pressure taken by the doctor. It looks like she's suffering from dizzyness on a very humid evening in Melbourne. It's still around 30c on Laver and this has been a gruelling physical battle so far.
Halep puts her hands on her head, takes some deep breathes and has a swig of water. Worrying signs but she's heading back onto court.
HALEP 6-7 3-2 WOZNIACKI
At 40-15 up, Halep calls for the physio. I wonder what's up... She clinches the game by winning another point at the net but she finished that game looking jaded.
The trainer and doctor are on...
HALEP 6-7 2-2 WOZNIACKI
Wozniacki is on course for a comfortable love hold but a weak second serve, punished by Halep, and a DF leaves her at 40-30.
Halep should really capitalise on another tame second serve but she goes for too much power and it lands long, leaving a relieved Wozniacki with another hold.
HALEP 6-7 1-2 WOZNIACKI
What. A. Game! An epic battle, with six deuces and four BPs is finally clinched by Halep when Wozniacki reaches a drop shot but can only scoop it long.
Wozniacki set-up some fine openings, including bringing up a fourth BP with a brilliant down-the-line backhand, but Halep responded each time and held her nerve -- and her serve.
Before the first deuece, the Romanian played the perfect backhand approach before winning her sixth point from six at the net. Maybe she should be coming in even more?
HALEP 6-7 1-1 WOZNIACKI
Big serving by Wozniacki but her love hold is as much to do with a string of errors from Halep, including a tame forehand into the net at 40-0.
With serve in the second.
HALEP 6-7 1-0 WOZNIACKI
No dwelling on that first set reverse for Halep, who holds to 30 at the start of the second set.
HALEP 6-7(2) WOZNIACKI
Wozniacki continues on the attack to clinch the final two points of the breaker, winning 7-2, and take the first set on Laver. The momentum appeared to have shifted towards Halep but the World No.2 held her nerve and went on the offensive to win the tie-break!
TIE-BREAK: HALEP 2-5 WOZNIACKI
An amazing display of Halep attacking and Wozniacki defending, clinched with a ferocious volley from the Romanian, leaves Laver breathless.
But in the very next point, it's Wozniacki with the line and length on her baseline shots and Halep can only fire into the net after another powerful rally.
TIE-BREAK: HALEP 1-2 WOZNIACKI
Just as she did at the start of the set, Wozniacki takes an early grip on the breaker, landing a superb swinging volley before forcing Halep to shoot long with some aggressive hitting.
Halep gets on the board with an inch-perfect forehand, initially called out but correctly challenged by the Romanian. It just caught the tramline!
HALEP 6-6 WOZNIACKI
Halep gives short shrift to a looping Wozniacki return on the first point before firing in an ace. Another love hold on the way? Nope. Wozniacki makes it competitive with two battling points to take it to 40-30 but another massive Halep serve means we're going to a first-set breaker.
HALEP 5-6 WOZNIACKI
Laver is witnessing some fine, fine tennis now and showing it's appreciation. Wozniacki is back on track with a love hold, clinching the game with an ace.
Halep appeared to be in control of the first two points but Wozniacki's defence forced the Romanian into two errors.
HALEP 5-5 WOZNIACKI
A second love hold for Halep, who has lost just two points on serve since being broken in the same game of the set. It's three games in a row now for the Romanian and we're level.
A massive service game coming up for Wozniacki.
HALEP 4-5 WOZNIACKI
A Wozniacki wobble! A string of errors from a help Halep to three BPs with Wozniacki suddenly looking tight. The Dane recovers herself when Halep sends a forehand wide and a first ace helps her to 30-40. But Halep holds on when a Wozniacki slice floats long.
We're all squad on one break apiece.
HALEP 3-5 WOZNIACKI
Halep is, of course, not giving this first set up without a fight. Another senational forehand helps to a third straight hold and Wozniacki will have to serve for the first set.
HALEP 2-5 WOZNIACKI
Wowowowow! The point of the match so far by some distance. At 30-15, a 17-shot rally seems to have been won and lost a few times by each player. Wozniacki, seemingly stranded in no-man's land, somehow reaches a Halep drop shot and a poor overhead gives the Dane a chance to smash. It's weak but Halep nets!
Four straight points ultimately give Wozniacki another hold. She's a game away.
HALEP 2-4 WOZNIACKI
Try telling Halep her forehand isn't dialled in! The Romanian wraps up a second consecutive love hold with two hammer forehands. She's moving around the ball beautifully and, since being broken, is yet to lose a point on serve.
But can she break Wozniacki?
HALEP 1-4 WOZNIACKI
Wozniacki has barely lost a point on serve so far and only a second DF of the match denies her a comfortable love hold. Both player's are -- as expected -- hitting powerfully from behind the baseline but the Dane remains in control.
HALEP 1-3 WOZNIACKI
A woman in the crowd looks absolutely delighted to have caught the ball after a Halep volley skids off the baseline and richochets off Wozniacki's raquet. That's made her week.
Halep builds on that strong start to get on the board with a confident love hold.
HALEP 0-3 WOZNIACKI
They trade thumping cross-court forehands on the way to 30-30 but it's Wozniacki who comes out on top again, sending Halep scampering after a backhand before firing an ich-perfect forehand winner into the opposite corner.
A terrific start from the Dane, who has the World No.1 on the ropes early on.
HALEP 0-2 WOZNIACKI
These two big baseline hitters give a taste of what's to come with a ferocious rally at 15-30, eventually won by a big forehand from Wozniacki. The Dane has definitely started a little better and she clinches an early break when Halep sends a looping forehand just long.
Another stat for you: this is the first time in the Open Era that the top two female players in the world have met in a Grand Slam final.
Neither of these two have won a Slam yet, of course.
HALEP 0-1 WOZNIACKI
A solid start from the Dane, who races into a 40-0 lead as Halep looses up. A much better point then sees Halep come to the net and land a reaching volley but Wozniacki clinches a solid hold.
Amazingly, this is the first time in the Open Era that both Slam finalist have had to save a match point on the way there.
Wozniacki of course produced an epic comeback from 5-1, 40-15 down in the final set against Jana Fett in the second round, while Halep eventually beat Lauren Davis 15-13 in round three after a marathon final set.
Wozniacki has won the toss and elected to serve.
Here we go!
Caroline Wozniacki and Simona Halep are out on Laver for the women's final. It's already Halep 1-0 Wozniacki in the cheer stakes...the Romanian's roar was definitely bigger than the Dane's reception.
They're both presented with a bouqet of flowers and look entirely unsure what to do with them.