Analysis: How Caroline Wozniacki held her nerve to win final
Caroline Wozniacki came out all guns blazing in the final, but in the end she just got over the line as she managed to hold her nerve to win the Australian Open.
The 2018 women’s final was certainly a classic as both the Dane and Simona Halep produced high-quality tennis.
Whereas in previous finals it was often a case of one player making too many errors, the 2018 final forced both Wozniacki and Halep to earn their points with several rallies lasting quite long.
Wozniacki initially looked like she would run away with things, especially after Halep needed a medical timeout shortly after losing the opening set in the tie-breaker.
But the Romanian bounced back strongly to square it at one set each and it was certainly a close affair as the stats proved.
Halep and Wozniacki split sets and then split for the locker room for their 10-minute break.
This match so even
Rallies of 0-4 shots Wozniacki 41-39
Rallies of 5-8 shots Halep 17-15
Rallies of 9 or more Halep 15-12
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) January 27, 2018
And then it became a battle of nerves as you could sense Wozniacki was getting tight, but Halep didn’t fare much better on the other side of the net.
However, while the injured Romanian was happy to swing at anything, her opponent often found herself chasing down lost causes and on several occasions managed to win the point.
Wozniacki was the first to break, but Halep hit back immediately and the theme continued as there were six breaks in the first eight games of the decider.
After finally holding her serve to go 5-4 up, Wozniacki put all the pressure on Halep and managed to eke out a match point.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 27, 2018
Instead of getting tight again, she held her nerve and the Romanian hit the ball into the net to hand Wozniacki her first Grand Slam title.
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) January 27, 2018
That defeat will hurt Halep as she played out of her skin, especially after her timeout in the second set, but if she continues to produce that kind of tennis then she will no doubt emulate Wozniacki and win a Grand Slam.
Rafael Nadal is looking ‘beatable’ on clay going into Roland Garros, says Novak Djokovic
Will conditions hamper Spaniard?
Novak Djokovic describes Italian Open as ‘a great but challenging week’ after record Masters win
World number one in confident mood.
Novak Djokovic claims fifth Italian Open title with hard-earned win over Diego Schwartzman
Djokovic still sort of unbeaten.
Simona Halep maintains fine form by winning Italian Open after Karolina Pliskova retires injured
Third time lucky for Romanian.
Novak Djokovic concedes he ‘deserved’ warning from umpire as anger issues continue
Serb continues to court controversy.
‘It will be strange without Rafael Nadal in the final,’ admits Novak Djokovic
Djokovic says he won’t underestimate Argentine.
Five players out of Roland Garros qualifying following positive coronavirus tests, officials confirm
Two players return positive tests.
Novak Djokovic survives Casper Ruud scare to advance into Italian Open final in Rome
Djokovic chasing title number 81.
Simona Halep holds off Garbine Muguruza to reach third Italian Open final
Halep is looking for a first title in Rome.