'I have always believed in myself' - Caroline Wozniacki gunning for maiden Grand Slam crown




Caroline Wozniacki's gruelling climb back to the summit could soon be over with the world No.1 ranking up for grabs in her Australian Open final against Simona Halep.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 25:  Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark plays a forehand in her semi-final match against Elise Mertens of Belgium on day 11 of the 2018 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 25, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark plays a forehand in her semi-final match against Elise Mertens at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.

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History will be made in tonight's title decider if the second-seeded Dane can succeed in her quest for a maiden grand slam crown after twice falling at the final hurdle.

A Wozniacki victory would ensure she leapfrogs Halep to become world No.1 when the new WTA rankings are released on Monday - exactly six years after she last occupied the throne.

That would shatter the record for longest time between stints at No.1 held by Serena Williams, who went five years and 29 days before reclaiming top spot with her 2008 US Open title.

Wozniacki arrived at Flushing Meadows two years ago ranked No.74 after struggling with form and an ongoing ankle injury.

But the two-time US Open runner-up says she never lost belief that she could one day return to the top.

"I always believed in myself," Wozniacki said.

"I had a tough period where I had a few injuries. That was kind of hard and tough mentally. But once I got past that, I knew that if I can stay healthy and I work hard, my game is good enough for it.

The world number three could take the top ranking at the ASB Classic this week.
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"I was just giving myself time. I think if you don't feel like you can go all the way in tournaments, then to me there's no sense in playing.

"So for me it's always I want to be competitive, I want to be the best, and that's why I'm still playing."

That self-belief is certain to be tested by Halep, whose unbelievable counter- punching skills were on full display during an epic semi-final victory over 2016 champion Angelique Kerber.

Herself a two-time grand slam runner-up, the Romanian has been hampered by an ankle injury but hasn't let it stop her from achieving her deepest run at Melbourne Park.

Regardless of the final result, Wozniacki feels she will leave Melbourne with her head held high.

"I don't think I believe in luck," she said.

"Obviously you have to sometimes be a little lucky. But I believe in preparation and effort. I believe if you really put everything into it, eventually things are going to go your way.

"In the end of the day, no matter what happens on Saturday, all I know is that I've given it my best. Win or lose, I'm going to be very proud of my efforts these two weeks."

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