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Caroline Wozniacki vs. Simona Halep • Epic Ladies 2018 Australian Open Finals

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark (L) and Simona Halep of Romania (R) poses with their trophies after at the women’s singles final at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 27 January 2018. EPA-EFE/LUKAS COCH

 

 

Wozniacki vs. Halep caps off epic women’s Australian Open in fitting fashion

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

How good was the women’s singles event at the 2018 Australian Open? It was as good as it gets.

 

Three-setters were as plentiful as retirements were rare over the course of the fortnight. In fact, out of 127 women’s matches, a grand total of zero ended in retirement. Final sets were the norm. Just ask Caroline Wozniacki, Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, Carla Suarez Navarro, and Caroline Garcia, among many others.

 

It was already en epic fortnight even before the final, but there was icing on the cake to be had. Totally living up to its own hype to the standard set by the previous 12 days of the tournament, Caroline Wozniacki and Simona Halep battled for two hours and 49 minutes while producing gutsy, high-quality tennis on Saturday night. With both players duking it out for their first Grand Slam title and for the No. 1 ranking, there deserved to be more than winner. But, of course, there could only be one. And it was Wozniacki, who survived a roller-coaster ride to come back from a break down late in the third set and triumph 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-4.

 

As competitive as the contest was, there were no match points (in this case championship points) saved. Given how crazy the event had been, that actually came as somewhat of a surprise. After all, Wozniacki and Halep had combined to fight off seven match points on their way to the championship match.

 

The second-ranked Dane (soon-to-be world No. 1) escaped a 5-1, 40-15, double-match point deficit in the third set of her second rounder against Jana Fett. Halep’s run was arguably even more ridiculous. The top-ranked Romanian (soon-to-be world No. 2) recovered from 10-11, 0-40, triple-match point hole against Lauren Davis in the third round and save two more match points in a semifinal thriller against Angelique Kerber.

 

“From being almost out of the tournament to sitting here with the Australian Open trophy, it’s amazing,” Wozniacki said after capturing her first major title. “It’s been quite a turnaround; something I’m very proud of.”

 

“I felt ready,” Halep reflected when asked about her physical state heading into the final. “But the body was not ready because I had so many long matches. The muscles were tired. The feet were not good enough. But mentally I was ready. I feel that I can face any challenge. I can play against anyone. I can win against anyone. But just sometimes is not how you want because you cannot physically do it.”

 

Both players had already left everything on the court from a physical standpoint throughout their first six matches. Somehow, they dug deep enough to produce one more memorable match on Saturday.

 

It was a fitting end to a fine event.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

 

Editors Note • No Gloating • O.K. • a little • Ricky had a diff choice for predictions for winner….. And Lovey and Frankie had WOZZY.

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