Justine Henin-Hardenne took her first Australian Open title with a dramatic 6-3 4-6 6-3 win over Kim Clijsters.
The world number one had looked set for a comfortable victory over her fellow Belgian when she took the first set and established a 4-2 lead in the second.
But Clijsters fought back brilliantly to level the match and then again in the decider after falling 0-4 down.
Henin-Hardenne found her form at the right time, however, to deny Clijsters a first major title for the third time.
"It was very emotional. I thought I could not close the match in the second set, in the third set I felt the crowd give support to Kim," Henin-Hardenne said.
"Both of us were really nervous. On the important points I could win and I was feeling just unbelievable.
"I have three Grand Slams now and I have not realised it yet."
In a match which ebbed and flowed, the turning point for Clijsters came at 3-4 in the deciding set.
The 20-year-old twice had game point, but each time delivered a nervy double fault.
Henin-Hardenne forced a break point which Clijsters looked to have saved with a powerful drive volley on to the baseline.
However, as Clijsters and the crowd celebrated, the umpire called the ball out and Clijsters could not recover.
Serving for the match, Henin-Hardenne held her nerve and after clinching the win, dropped to her knees to celebrate.