Caro Wozniacki has done herself, Serena Williams (as shown on twitter) and myself very, very proud! There was a time today when it looked like the chance was about to pass her by, but she stuck at it. Let us not forget it was an energy-sapping two weeks for both of these players. Wozniacki saving match points against Jana Fett and Halep doing likewise against Lauren Davis and Angelique Kerber.
Wozniacki came out firing early doors and raced into a 3/0 lead in the opening set, playing with the aggression that we are becoming used to! There were a few signs of nerves in trying to serve out the set but she regrouped very well in the tie-break to take it.
In the second set Chris Bradnam and Jo Durie kept on about how Halep was struggling physically, this quite possibly didn’t help Wozniacki though. I am a firm believer in it can be a lot more difficult to beat a player who looks like the walking wounded. Simona was just going for it as a result. Fair play! Woz had chances early on to break but didn’t, then the Romanian called for the trainer and had her blood pressure taken! On the restart, Halep broke and then served out the set!
The nerves were understandably there at the start of the decider and that was probably best shown by there being 7 breaks of serves in the ten games. I think the nerves were just perfectly natural though. There was a lot at stake today, a first Grand Slam and the World number one spot for the winner. From *3/1 up Caro found herself 3/4* down and then called for the trainer herself with some taping on the knee required! She refocused here and took the next three games to take the title. Yes, Halep looked to be in trouble but it meant she was aggressive and very dangerous as a result. The irony behind the last two points is that after all the commotion (me included) surrounding the Dane’s proactive tactics, it was unreal hustle and fight that got her over the line! The one backhand to turn the point on its head to give her match point was class! On match point, she held firm and chased a few balls down before Halep netted a backhand! Queue, fall to the floor for the Dane! Waman!!
For the way she has improved her serve and forehand, there is no doubt in my mind, Wozniacki has shown the ambition to reach this landmark. She was overcome with emotion after and even apologised to Halep for winning. The Romanian actually said after that it was her body that had let her down on the day after two weeks of several injuries, including the knee. She added that she thought she was “mentally” ready to win one though. I felt for her after, she was clearly upset and had to go through all the motions being told how she was so resilient etc. Not what you want to hear at that moment I am sure! Today was the Dane’s day though and deservedly so!
Cilic v Fed tomorrow!
Andy Del Potro