When Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki step out on to the Rod Laver Arena not only will they be battling for the Australian Open women's title but also for the number one spot in the world rankings and their first career grand slam victory.
The second seed won 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-4 in punishing conditions to finally land a major title at the 43rd attempt.
After two US Open final defeats, many thought Wozniacki might never get another chance to win a grand slam, let alone return to the top of the WTA standings.
"I can still smile". It was an incredible match, you showed incredible fight, and again, I'm sorry. She played some stunning points and ran away with the tie-break in the end, winning it 7-2. A sublime point, showcasing her defensive and offensive skills, set up match point, and this time Halep had no resistance left.
"I think that's one of the most positive things about all of this", Wozniacki said.
'I dreamt of this moment for so many years, it's a dream come true, ' said Wozniacki.
"I am really happy, and I wish I am going to come back again next year and do very good again", an ecstatic Pavic said after the victory. But she also looked like she now believes that anything is possible. "I had a tough period where I had a few injuries".
"For sure I will fight, I have many years to go so hopefully I will face another challenge like this today", she said.
"Every time I was like: "Oh, I can't do this any more, I'm exhausted.' We were playing all these insane long rallies".
Halep, Romania's #1, falls to 0-3 in Grand Slam finals after she dropped the first and third sets.
Halep, too, had been hoping to end the wait for a first major title to add to her number one ranking, but she has now lost in the Australian Open final as well as two French Opens.
Halep def. Destanee Aiava, 7-6 (5), 6-1 Halep def. Eugenie Bouchard, 6-2, 6-2 Halep def. Lauren Davis, 4-6, 6-4, 15-13 Halep def. Naomi Osaka, 6-3, 6-2 Halep def.
Wozniacki gave a special mention to her father Piotr, who had coached her since she was seven years old.
"My voice is shaking", said Wozniacki as she hoisted the winners' trophy. On this basis, it's completely logical to recommend Wozniacki as a value underdog to be celebrating her first Grand Slam title of what has still been an illustrious career.
The hobbling top seed resumed after having her pulse and blood pressure checked and bravely snatched the second set after reeling off three straight games to set up a thrilling conclusion. "I was a nervous wreck this morning, I wanted to win so badly and you managed to calm me down". Halep then dug in and focused on dictating rallies to force a third set, before which both players took a break off-court.
Whatever happens from this point, all of those connected with Liverpool can rely on the support of Wozniacki, with her exploits having proved that persistence and hard work will be rewarded in time.