Wozniacki beats Halep, takes her spot at No. 1 in rankings
Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki poses with her Australian Open trophy, the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018. Wozniacki defeated Romania's Simona Halep 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 in Saturday's final.(AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
By Bruce Matthews, Associated Press
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Winning the Australian Open final gave Caroline Wozniacki her first major title, and a bonus prize.
Wozniacki beat Simona Halep in three sets in the championship match on the weekend, meaning she'll replace the Romanian player atop the WTA rankings released on Monday.
"I think being a new Grand Slam champion and world No. 1 sounds pretty good," Wozniacki said. "I'm very excited for that. It's a dream come true."
Her six years between stints at No. 1 beats Serena Williams' record (5 years, 29 days) for the longest span between losing and regaining the top ranking in the women's tour.
Halep, who ascended to No. 1 for the first time on Oct. 9 last year and was playing her first major as the top seed, slips to No. 2 in the new list.
Elina Svitolina moved up one place to No. 3, switching places with Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza.
Angelique Kerber's run to the Australian Open semifinals, coming off her first title since the 2016 U.S. Open when she won the Sydney International earlier this month, earned the former No. 1 a spot in the top 10.
Elise Mertens is the biggest mover among the higher-ranked players after her impressive run to the semifinals at Melbourne Park, improving from No. 37 to No. 20.
CoCo Vandeweghe made the most dramatic ranking slide after her Australian Open first-round loss, dropping from No. 9 to No. 18.
Johanna Konta also surrendered her place in the top 10, dropping to No. 11 after her second-round upset loss to lucky loser Bernarda Pera at Melbourne Park.
On the men's side, Roger Federer will remain at No. 2 behind Rafael Nadal on the ATP tour after successfully defending his Australian Open title and capturing a 20th major with a victory over Marin Cilic on Sunday night.
Cilic moves up from sixth to a career-high No. 3 in the rankings, with Grigor Dimitrov and Alexander Zverev each dropping a spot to Nos. 4 and 5.