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Australian Open: Double joy for Caroline Wozniacki after landing first grand slam

Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki celebrates winning a point while playing Simona Halep on Saturday.  Picture: AP/Dita Alangkara
Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki celebrates winning a point while playing Simona Halep on Saturday. Picture: AP/Dita Alangkara
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Caroline Wozniacki’s father told her he would not care if she worked in a supermarket before she went out and won her first grand slam title to become world No 1.

Piotr Wozniacki has been his daughter’s primary coach throughout her whole tennis career and shared the long journey that finally led to a first slam trophy at the age of 27 when she beat Simona Halep at the Australian Open on Saturday.

He said: “Normally I’m very nervous but I could eat before Caroline’s match so that was very good. I was talking to Caroline, ‘you won’t change my day, you are my daughter, it doesn’t matter if you’re working in a supermarket or No 1 in the world, this is the same for me’.”

One of the first people to tweet congratulations was Wozniacki’s long-time friend Serena Williams, who revealed the moment reduced her to tears.

Wozniacki spoke glowingly of Williams’ impact on her, saying: “Serena’s a huge inspiration and obviously what she’s done in women’s sports and women’s tennis is incredible.

“She’s an amazing athlete but the most important thing about Serena is that she’s an amazing person. The way she handles herself, the way she thinks going out on the court, it’s taught me a lot and that’s why it’s very special she was supporting me.”

WINNER: Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki is taken for a ride on a punt with her Australian Open trophy, the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne. Picture: AP/Dita Alangkara

WINNER: Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki is taken for a ride on a punt with her Australian Open trophy, the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne. Picture: AP/Dita Alangkara

Wozniacki was still planning to play next week’s St Petersburg Open but has not thought beyond as to what this first slam trophy could potentially lead to over the rest of her career.

She said: “As athletes we don’t enjoy the moments and I really just want to enjoy the moment. Not only am I a grand slam champion – it still seems crazy to say that – but I’m also back to No 1.

“I couldn’t have scripted it any better. I’m very proud of the way I’ve fought to get here.”

A teenage prodigy, Wozniacki reached her first grand slam final at the US Open in 2009 and another in New York in 2014 but lost first to Kim Clijsters and then Serena Williams.

I couldn’t have scripted it any better. I’m very proud of the way I’ve fought to get here.

Caroline Wozniacki

It was Flushing Meadows that set Wozniacki off on the latest climb of her rollercoaster journey. In August 2016, she was ranked down at 74 but a run to the semi-finals put her back in the top 30 and it has been an upward trend ever since.

She said: “I’d been through a lot of injuries at that point. Then you start losing to some players who you’re not really thinking you should lose to. It’s frustrating.”

Romania's Simona Halep makes a backhand return to Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki on Saturday. Picture: AP/Andy Brownbill

Romania's Simona Halep makes a backhand return to Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki on Saturday. Picture: AP/Andy Brownbill