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 number one.
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 number one in the world, this is the same for me’.
“We waited a long time. It was Caroline’s dream from very young, 12 years old, that she would win grand slam or be number one in the world. Today we see it coming in the same moment.
“We beat number one, Caroline’s number one, and win first grand slam so this dream is now reality. Now I hope Caroline can have the next dream.”
A newer member of her team is fiance David Lee, a former NBA star, who lived through every moment of her dramatic 7-6 (2) 3-6 6-4 victory over Halep.
“It was a very high-quality tennis match and to have her come out on top, those last couple of points just show her fighting spirit,” he said. “It just stinks that one of those two had to lose that match because they both played like champions.
“I was more nervous than when I won a championship. Because there’s nothing I can do. Just sitting there and knowing how hard she’s worked and how much she wants it. She has the ultimate dedication and heart but sometimes that’s not enough and it’s very hard to watch as her fiance.
“I know how great a person she is and how hard she works and it makes her so easy to root for. Of course I’m biased but I wanted her to be successful more than anything in the world.”
One of the first people to tweet congratulations was Wozniacki’s long-time friend Serena Williams, who revealed the moment reduced her to tears.
I got too nervous to watch but woke up to @CaroWozniacki new number one and aussie open champ. So awesome. So happy. Are those tears? Yup they are. 😭 from a year ago to today I’m so proud my friend so proud. Literally can’t even sleep now
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) January 27, 2018
Piotr Wozniacki believes Williams has had a big influence on his daughter’s career and hopes they can stage a repeat of the 2014 US Open final, one of two slam finals Wozniacki had previously lost.
He also recognised that Williams’ absence following the birth of her daughter opened a door, saying: “This is fantastic timing.
“I respect Serena. Serena is a huge idol for me, also for Caroline. They’re very good friends so I see it as only good for tennis that Serena is looking at coming back. Sometimes they speak about tennis, and I believe 100 per cent it has helped Caroline.
“Caroline has won now so I hope they can play a different way. I hope this year Serena and Caroline can play one more time in a final.”
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 I think the most important thing about Serena is that she’s an amazing person and she really has taught me a lot of things. 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. I’m sure when she decides to come back she’ll be as good as ever.”
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: “I think 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 number one. I couldn’t have scripted it any better and I’m very proud of the way I’ve fought to get here.”
Provided by Press Association Sport
The Swiss defended his crown in Melbourne, and was in tears as he lifted the trophy on Rod Laver Arena.
“The fairy tale continues for us, for me. After the great year I had last year, it’s incredible,” he said fighting back tears.
The 36-year-old continues to defy age and closes in on Rafael Nadal at the top of the world rankings with only 155 points now separating them.
Here’s a look at the numbers behind Federer’s latest history-making feat…
3 – At 36 years and 173 days, Federer is the third player in the Open Era to win four or more Grand Slams after turning 30, joining Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall, who both won four major titles after their 30th birthdays.
3 – Grand Slam titles Federer has captured after turning 35. Rosewall is the only other man to have won major titles after his 35th birthday in the Open Era.
4 – Federer is just the fourth player – man or woman – to win 20 or more major titles.
5 – consecutive Grand Slams now won by either Federer or Rafael Nadal. The longest streak for their duopoly took place when they split 11 straight majors from the 2005 Roland Garros to the 2007 US Open.
6 – Federer has captured his sixth Australian Open title from seven finals reached in Melbourne. He joins Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson at the top of the all-time list for Australian Open titles won.
6 – Federer’s victory means that the last six majors have been won by players aged 30 or older. He is 36.
7 – Australian Open finals Federer has reached, the most in history.
8 – second-serve aces Federer fired this tournament.
9 – wins and just one loss for Federer against Cilic.
10 – Having won his 20th Grand Slam at the 200th major played in the Open Era, Federer has now won 10 per cent of the Grand Slams in the Open Era.
13 – hours 53 minutes Federer spent on court en route to the 2018 Australian Open title.
20 – Grand Slam titles for Federer from 30 finals reached (has won two thirds of the major finals he’s contested).
30 – five-set wins for Federer throughout his career against 20 losses.
30 – Grand Slam finals reached by Federer, the most in history.
41 – of 51 serve-and-volley points Federer won throughout the tournament.
72 – The 2018 Australian Open was Federer’s 72nd Grand Slam appearance. He has won 28 per cent of the majors he has contested.
82 – Federer won 82 per cent of the points on his first serve throughout the tournament.
94 – match wins for Federer at the Australian Open against 13 losses.
95 – aces Federer struck throughout the tournament.
279 – winners Federer struck through seven matches in Melbourne, against 197 unforced errors.
A tearful Roger Federer powered home to beat Marin Cilic in five riveting sets to win his sixth Australian Open and 20th Grand Slam title on Sunday.
The Swiss defending champion dropped his only sets of the tournament before completing a 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win over the sixth seeded Croatian in 3hr 3min.
Federer, playing in his 30th Grand Slam final, joined Novak Djokovic and Australian great Roy Emerson as joint top for the most Australian Open men’s titles.
“I’m so happy it’s unbelievable. This is a dream come true, the fairytale continues for me,” Federer said at the presentation.
“After the great year last year, it’s incredible,” the 36-year-old added as he broke down in tears.
Federer added to his already imposing win-loss record in Melbourne and is now 94-13. His overall his Grand Slam mark stands at 332-52.
“It was an amazing journey to come to the final. It could have been the best two weeks of my life, but Roger played a great fifth set,” Cilic said.
“I want to thank my team, you’re unbelievable. We worked hard for this year, hopefully we will lift these trophies in the future.”
The roof was closed over Rod Laver Arena as the tournament’s heat policy was implemented amid evening temperatures of 38 Celsius (100 Fahrenheit).
Cilic’s serve came under immediate pressure with a whipping backhand return winner for break point which the Croatian followed with a smash into the net for a break in the opening game.
The Croat was finding it difficult to settle and changed racquets in his second service game, but it had no obvious benefit as he dropped serve again after three break points to trail 0-3.
He finally held serve to get on the board but the Swiss star was too good, serving out the set in just 24 minutes after a shaky Cilic opening.
Federer fought off two break points in his opening service in the second set with pinpoint serves, while Cilic had a tussle before holding in the third game.
Cilic worked his way back into the match as both players traded furious forehands to stay on serve.
Cilic was break point down in the ninth, but crucially got out of it with a second serve ace down the middle followed by a forehand winner.
The Croat had a big moment in the 10th game when two Federer double faults gave him set point, but a tentative backhand into the net and a wild backhand cost him his chance.
In the tiebreaker, Cilic got to two set points when his forehand clipped the line before a winning smash levelled the match as Federer dropped his first set of the tournament.
But Cilic lost serve on the back of a couple of ground stroke errors and Federer raced 4-2 up in the third set.
The defending champion shifted gears with a stunning forehand off his toes and confidently held serve to lead 5-2 before clinically serving out the set in 29 minutes.
Cilic was then broken in the opening game of the fourth set with a poor backhand dropshot into the net as Federer closed in for the kill.
But the Croat broke back in the sixth game with three break points when Federer netted and fought off a break point in the next game to put his nose in front.
Cilic was now more in the flow and broke Federer again with his big forehands starting to find their mark. He served it out to take the absorbing final into a fifth.
But Federer stayed calm and produced quality backhands to hold on to his serve amid mounting tension.
The world No.2 crucially broke to 2-0 and got a vital double break when Cilic netted a forehand, leaving him to serve out for the championship.