Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki won her first grand slam title Saturday at the Australian Open in Melbourne, besting Romanian Simona Halep, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-4.
"I have to take a second to hug Daphne," Wozniacki told reporters after being awarded the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup at the prize ceremony. "It's a dream come true, and my voice is shaking. It's a very emotional moment."
Wozniacki is the first player from Denmark to win a major singles title. It came nine years after her first attempt in 2009, when she lost the U.S. Open final to Kim Clijsters. She also lost the U.S. Open in 2014, to Serena Williams.
Wozniacki also paid tribute, apologetically, to her opponent. "I want to congratulate Simona. I know today is a tough day and I'm sorry I had to win," she told reporters.
Halep, like Wozniacki, had played two major singles finals in the past without a win.
"Maybe the fourth time will be with luck," she said before leaving the court at Laver Arena.
The competitors both took medical timeouts in their final, grueling match on a sweltering summer day.
Halep complained of dizziness and a headache when taking her timeout. After the end of the match, she said she was spent. "It was close again, but the gas was over in the end," she said of her loss. Wozniacki, she said, "was better. She was fresher. She actually had more energy in the end."
Wozniacki told reporters that the best thing about Saturday's win was that she would never again have to answer a question about when she was going to win a Grand Slam title.
Now, she said, "I'm just waiting for the question, 'When are you going to win the second one?' "