After years of a major title eluding her, Caroline Wozniacki is finally a Grand Slam champion.
Wozniacki defeated Simona Halep in the 2018 Australian Open women's singles final on Saturday night. Extreme heat and humidity made the match a particularly grueling one, but the 27-year-old Wozniacki was able to outlast Halep and win 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-4.
The feverish battle perfectly fit the stakes of the evening. It was world No. 1 Halep against world No. 2 Wozniacki. Both players were looking for their maiden Grand Slam title and both were playing in their third Grand Slam final. This was the 43rd major tournament of Wozniacki's career, while Halep has played in 31.
With the win, Wozniacki will become the top-ranked player in the world again. She shared what the moment meant to her via the BBC:
The incredible win for Wozniacki is also a milestone for her country. According to the Australian Open, she is Denmark's first-ever Grand Slam winner.
If you're looking to re-live history or witness it for the first time, there's plenty of opportunities to watch the match on replay.
Men's Final TV Info: Sunday, Jan. 28 on Eurosport 1 at 8:31 a.m. GMT (UK), 3:30 a.m. ET on ESPN (U.S.)
Women's Final Replay Coverage: Saturday, Jan 27 at Eurosport 1 at 6:02 p.m. GMT and 12:31 a.m. GMT (UK) or Tennis Channel at 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m. or 10:30 p.m. ET (U.S.)
It's getting difficult to encapsulate just how magnificent Federer is and how unbelievable it is that he's playing so well at the age of 36.
The Swiss legend is looking to repeat as Australian Open champion and win his unprecedented 20th Grand Slam title overall. Federer has yet to drop a set in this tournament, cooly dispatching opponents like Richard Gasquet and Tomas Berdych.
In the semi-final, Federer pounced on the up-and-coming Hyeon Chung, giving the latter no relief from his multiple blisters that forced him to retire in the second set with the match at 6-1, 5-2. Chung is just 21 years old, and he has a bright future ahead of him. Retiring and saving his feet is a fine, if disappointing, outcome.
What's remarkable is that Federer is 15 years his senior and has never retired from a match, according to ESPN.com's Jeremy Bembry:
"So, in the 1,338 matches Federer has played since turning pro in 1998, he has completed every single one.
"Just think about how amazing that is, playing a sport in which he is constantly lunging and sprinting. Playing through ankle tweaks and muscle aches and bad backs. Pushing his body through intense heat and tough opponents.
"Federer has not only survived, but he's thrived to maintain his status as one of the top players in tennis today."
So yes, Mr. Cilic, there will be no easy road to an Australian Open title on Sunday—he will have to go through the best player tennis has ever seen.
Cilic is hoping to add a second major trophy to his cabinet after winning the 2014 U.S. Open.
Though he hasn't been able to glide through the tournament like Federer has, Cilic has faced and beaten some sound opposition, including Kyle Edmund, Pablo Carreno Busta and world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, who had to retire early in the fifth set of a great quaterfinal matchup.
Federer is 8-1 all-time against Cilic, with the latter's only win coming in the semi-finals of the 2014 U.S. Open, which Cilic went on to win. The last time they played each other in a Grand Slam was in the finals of last year's Wimbledon, which Federer won in a breezy three sets.
With Federer's efficient, all-around game still well intact and his body showing little to no signs of breaking down, it will likely take a Herculean effort from Cilic to win on Sunday night.
The 29-year-old Croatian is capable of beating the best in the world when on his game, and he'll need to showcase all of his talents if he is to win a second Grand Slam.