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Kim Clijsters beats Li Na to triumph at the 2011 Australian Open

At the 2011 Australian Open, Li Na made a great step for Chinese tennis, even though her first Grand Slam final went to the hands of Kim Clijsters, who won her fourth major title and her first away from New York.

Seed No.3 Clijsters had the advantage of more experience, but Li was a great competitor and despite her nervousness, she didn’t melt down as we have seen with other first-time finalists on grand stage. The ninth-seeded Li won the first set 6-3 and kept the match uncertain almost until the end. When Clijsters had three match points at 40-0, it was pretty clear who was to become the latest Australian Open champion, and the humble Belgian won on her first match point. Final score: 3-6 6-3 6-3.

Li has nothing to regret: she gave resistance in the final, made history for China by becoming its first Grand Slam finalist, came to the championships match with a perfect 11-0 record in 2011, which included the victory over Clijsters herself in the Sydney final and the victory over world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki in the semis of the Australian Open.

I’m mentioning Li’s achievement more, because Clijsters’ post-retirement achievements are so amazing that whatever I would say would not be enough. Three Grand Slam titles, including the defense of the US Open one, and now back-to-back Grand Slam titles, all that while being a mother – Kim, you deserve utmost appreciation.

To reach the final Kim defeated, in order: Dinara Safina, Carla Suarez Navarro, Alize Cornet, Ekaterina Makarova, seed No.12 Agnieszka Radwanska and second seed Vera Zvonareva.

I’d like to add one more thing about this final. There were no screams, overexpressed emotions (including the trophy ceremony), flashy outfits – it was a simple and enjoyable encounter of two nice ladies doing what they do best. (photo: AP via Yahoo)

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12 thoughts on “Kim Clijsters beats Li Na to triumph at the 2011 Australian Open

  1. Mirjana

    Congrats to Kim! I was actually a little bit cheering for Li, I think she is a great player and she played fanatstic for past few weeks, but it's also great to see Kim winning another Slam. It was definitely one of the best finals for the past few years and right now Kim is definitely the best player in the world, and she'll surely be officialy no.1 again some time soon. And, Maria, good point at the end of the article, couldn't agree more. :) This match was pure classic tennis, and it's a shame these things happen so rarely these days.

  2. Marija Post author

    Mirjana, I wanted Li to win so that China would get a Grand Slam champion, but I also wanted Kim to win to make her comeback even greater. It's great to see Kim doing so well! She may retire soon, and Li will have more opportunities in the future.

    Kim rocks, I'm really enjoying this period of Kim's dominance.

  3. Marine

    Marija, me too. I think Kim is the best in WTA hands down. I hope she will clinch more slams this season, she's really fun to watch. I think she has a sort of reverse career to Henin. Henin was shining in her first career and the second part of it wasn't such a big success whereas Clijsters was missing an edge in her first career which she finally found after she returnet on the circuit.
    I am sure she will be no.1 this season.

  4. Marija

    Marine, I also like it how Kim seems to be in peace with herself and her life. I think it is reflected on her tennis results as well.

  5. Marine

    Yes, I think when she was younger she sometimes couldn't deal with all the pressure on and off the court so well as she does now.

  6. Francesca

    I have seen part of the match and I agree, it was a classical good encounter between two extraordinary champions, I was undecided about who cheer, Li played an incredible tournament and I wish her to achieve many important goals while Kim is definitely the best player of the moment I also like how she seems to be in peace, I think she will be number one! :)

  7. david

    In this year Australian open,the final between LIna and Clijsters is amazing,Lina is the first china to enter in to the final of Australian open,she has given big competion to clijsters, one time i think lina will win the australia open for the china but clijster played very well than lina

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