Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki celebrates during the women's singles final match against Romania's Simona Halep at Australian Open 2018 in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 27, 2018. (Xinhua/Zhu Hongye)
MELBOURNE, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki won her first tennis Grand Slam title on Saturday, narrowly beating out world number one Simona Halep in the Australian Open final.
With the three hour match finishing 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 6-4, commentators described the 3-set thriller as one of the "greatest women's finals of all time."
Although the 27-year-old got off to a perfect start, breaking Halep's serve early in the first set, the gritty Romanian fought back and managed to force a tie break.
Wozniacki, however, was able to hold her nerve and take the set by getting the better of the long, powerful baseline rallies that dominated play.
But an early break in the second following a lengthy deuce battle saw Halep level the contest.
With fans at the Rod Laver Arena already on the edge of their seat going into the deciding third set, the tension grew as the exhausted pair battled break point after break point, struggling to hold serve.
Eventually, Halep edged ahead 4-3 and looked the most likely to go on and win the match.
"I had opportunities to go 3-0 and 4-1, but I didn't take them," a relieved Wozniacki told Xinhua.
"She was playing really well and I was thinking it looks like it may not be my day, but I was never really nervous at that point, I just kind of got there and gave it my all."
"I was playing aggressively, I think I played well but it could have gone either way today, but I'm happy it went my way."
Although extremely disappointed after missing out on her third Grand Slam final, Halep said that mentally she had greatly improved from her past performances.
But after a series of punishing matches throughout the tournament, including the record equaling 22-game epic against American Lauren Davis, Halep had to bravely persevere through to the final despite suffering severe tendon problems in both feet.
"I was really tired and I have pain everywhere, but I think I did pretty well with all those things going on," Halep said.
"After the first set, I was out, no energy, no power, then I just said that I have to hit all the balls and I took the second set."
"I came back in the third set but when I served for 5-3, the gas was gone, I couldn' t make it."
"I'm really sad but I can still smile, it's just a tennis match in the end."
The victory also means Wozniacki will move from second spot, to claim the world number one ranking from Halep.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, China tasted success at the Australian Open, with Wang Xinyu and her partner Liang En Shuo claiming the women's Junior doubles title against Papua New Guinea's Violet Apisah and Switzerland's Lulu Sun.
The final score finished 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, (10-5).