At the end of a thrilling and initially suffocating finale, the Danish defeated Simona Halep’s resistance (7-6 3-6 6-4). She wins her first Grand Slam title and recovers an abandoned world crown in 2012.

Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki (27) won the Australian Open final Saturday in Melbourne by beating Romania’s Simona Halep in straight sets (7-6 3-6 6-4) and 2:49 in the game. first major title after two finals lost at the US Open, Wozniacki at the same time dethroned his rival of the first place in the world rankings.

The disappointment is cruel for Halep, who fails for the third time in the Grand Slam final. “I started this tournament with difficulty, with pain in my ankle. I hung on and it brought me to the final, she explained, a small smile hanging on the corner of her face. I’m losing unfortunately, and it’s hard, but the fourth time will be good, I hope. ”

“I’m sorry I had to win today,” apologized (twice) in return for the winner. Caroline Wozniacki seemed sincere but the champions are complex beings, able to do everything to beat the one to whom they or they wish all the happiness possible.

Both had the right to believe it

It is often self-persuasion but sometimes it is a real feeling: the impression that it is “his” moment. May this finale be for you. That all these defeats, all these disappointments, all those tears swallowed were not in vain. That there was a hidden meaning, that now everything becomes clear and makes sense. Yes, this time, finally, it’s time for the reward. Problem: Wozniacki and Halep told each other exactly the same thing. And both could legitimately believe it.

Wozniacki, who had saved a match in the second round against the 129th World Cup, the Croatian Jana Fett, will be Monday officially number 1, having dominated the world women’s tennis between 2010 and 2012. She had then experienced disappointments, finding herself she was 74th in the WTA rankings in August 2016. She had then started a slow but steady progression to the top, to the point of arriving in Melbourne in top position number 2, still driven by her father, a former Polish footballer.

At the time of the speeches, she thanked him for all this journey. Caroline Wozniacki also had a word for her fiancé, former American basketball player David Lee, NBA champion in 2015 with the Golden State Warriors. “This morning, I was very nervous but with his calm and his experience, he knew how to talk to me.”

Two games in the final

There have been two games in this final. The first one lasted two sets and ended with a draw (7-6 for Wozniacki, 6-3 for Halep). An hour and a half of top-level tennis, with many superb points, many more winning shots than direct fouls, powerful (and non-threatening) services in hot moments, players who did not hesitate to climb to the volley, impressive mental and athletic qualities.

The other 71-minute match started with the third inning, after a ten-minute break by the referee because of the difficult playing conditions. Night had fallen but the temperature seemed to have gone the other way. The black-headed gulls were perching on the roof of the stadium, the heat had become thick and sticky.

In the stands the fans were moving; the players a little less. The match dropped two tones. Despite the interruption of play, Halep and Wozniacki were exhausted, emptied. Deprived of its athletic dimension that had brought him to a very high level, the game reopened the door to double mistakes, mistakes galore, constant breaks (6 out of 10 games service). At 5-4 Wozniacki, Simona Halep cracked one last time on his serve. Once too often.

2018, women’s year

This final concludes a beautiful women’s tournament where we will have finally seen more great matches than in the men’s draw. Simona Halep’s fights against Laurent Davis in the third round (15-13 in the final round) and Angelique Kerber in the semifinal (two match points saved), the superb opposition of style between Kerber’s strength and Hsieh’s grace Su-wei , will remain in the memories.

Before the finals, Simona Halep had spent more time on the court during the fortnight (11:35) than Roger Federer (10:50) and the two women’s semi-finals (2:20 and 1:37) had lasted longer than the men’s semi-finals (2:18) and 1:02). This is not always the case, but this year the Australian Open has been more interesting for women.