No Li Way as Clijsters Wins First Australian Open Title

by Staff | January 29th, 2011, 8:56 am

Kim Clijsters denied China’s Li Na a first-ever Grand Slam title for an Asian man or woman Saturday in the final at the Australian Open, defeating the No. 9 seed 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 for the Belgian’s first-ever Australian Open title.
It’s was a turn-around from weeks ago in the WTA Sydney final when Li beat Clijsters in straight sets.

Li battered winners in the opening set, putting Clijsters on the defense to win the first after the Belgian was up an early break. After trading breaks early in the second set, Clijsters won six straights games to win the second set and take a 2-0 lead into the third. From there on Clijsters held her position for her fourth Grand Slam title following three at the US Open, and improved to 4-4 in Slam finals.

“I finally feel like you guys can call me Aussie Kim, because I won the title,” Clijsters told the crowd after the match. Clijsters picked up the nickname Aussie Kim when she used to date Australian former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt. “I’ve been coming here for many years and you guys have always been amazing. I really appreciate it. It helps so much when you’re fighting to win the title.”

Li will move back into the Top 10 at a new career-high No.7 ranking. Clijsters will rise from 3 to No. 2.

“First of course have congratulations for Kim, and also best of luck for the rest of the season,” Li said. “Thanks for the sponsor, and two thing, the guy in the yellow t-shirt, I make a lot of jokes for him, doesn’t matter if you are fat or skinny or handsome or ugly, I always follow you, I always love you. I wish everyone happy Chinese New year, all the best, see you next year.”

Clijsters also had her favorite outfits during the fortnight.

“My uncle was wearing the ugliest green pants that I’ve ever seen, and I won, so I’m superstitious, so if you come you’re going to have to wear them every time, so those green pants have brought me a little bit of luck,” Clijsters said. “I would like to thank my coach Wim, it’s a pleasure to be living all these dreams together now. The guy I swear at the most, my fitness trainer, he puts me through so much pain, this is the reason why, Sam thank you very much for everything. My manager Bob, he’s one of our closest friends, so thank you everything that you do for us, not just for me but my family. Of course my husband Brian, he’s the rock behind me.”

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16 Comments for No Li Way as Clijsters Wins First Australian Open Title

leo vixen Says:

Congratulations to both women on a really good women’s final that was well played, well fought out, with some amazing shots, and best of all, NO SCREAMING! Congrats to Kim on the win of course. Hope we see more of Li Na as her game and personality are a breath of fresh air. Both women were very charming and gracious in their speeches and were a real pleasure to watch. There were no losers today, only winners.

Lulu Iberica Says:

I agree with you Leo Vixen, both women were winners! I had been pulling for Kim throughout the tournament, but during the final found myself cheering for Li Na. I hope she continues to rise in the rankings and wins a major soon.

My only complaint is for ESPN — they didn’t show the first 6 games of the second set in the encore broadcast! They’d better not do that with the men’s final!

grendel Says:

Absolutely NO SCREAMING leo vixen. Part of me fails to see why the screaming should be tolerated. Then you have to think: how would you regulate it? It’s not really an “either or” thing, is it, it’s kind of a sliding scale, and any attempt to monitor it might seem arbitrary. Any suggestions?

Huh Says:

I thought I can watch a tension free final, but when I suddenly realised that Murray’s playing, all my relaxation vanished. I m most tens in d world at d moment for tomoro’s match. I hope Murray wins it, AT ALL COSTS, absolutly no alternativ availabl in mind. If Murray doesn’t win tomoro, he wouldn’t win this year or any othr year, he’d remain slamles as he’d nevr recover from anothr loss. Tomoro is must win for Murray. Nole has one GS, if he doesn’t win tomoro, none’s takin his slam away. But for Murray, tomoro is now or never.

thetennisguy Says:

Great final!! Love it!

Concerning Dick Enberg and Mary Joe Fernandez and Pam Shiver and Cliff Drysdale … DIE DIE DIE! You all are brainless morons and suck as commentators! Yes the emperor has no clothes! You suck and ruin tennis matches … thankfully volume control is there to solve you!

Kudos to Brad Gilbert, Justin Gimelstob, Darren Cahill, Patrick McEnroe for making this another great event! You guys have brains and make great commentators that people can actually enjoy and learn from!

contador Says:

i thought i was awake for the match at 1:30 am but after Li won the first set i was “out.” a little disappointing that Li didn’t win but Kim is so nice….congratulations to her, saw the highlights and she played really well. best luck next tim for Li Na. really love her tennis and personality and hope she gets a slam. will continue cheering her on!

almost agree with your list of “likes and dislikes” thetenisguy. the exception…mj fernandez….i like her….not as lead commentary but i like her more than gimelstob (ugh) and brad gilbert has grown on me some…still he yacks too much, imo.

cahill and pmac….yes, kudos to them.

contador Says:

such a relief to have no screeeeeching in a wta match! don’t know what to do about the screamers, grunters, and screechers. agree with navratalova’s opinion on the matter. but cant imagine schiavone and serena not grunting, azarenka not screeching, or sharapova not shrieking…. probably impossible to stop it but in many cases it does seem suspect like when venus and serena play each other there is very little noise compared to when they play others.

sharapova’s shrieks seem more natural than the way azarenka shrieks and screeches but….maybe it’s the volume and excessiveness.

the mute button works but then i don’t hear the tennis ball. i dunno.

murray and novak both make some exhalation noise but it’s nothing really. even federer has been know to grunt….can count it on one hand in a match.

Gregoire Gentil Says:

Congrats to Kim. She deserves the title and if I’m honest with myself, she obviously deserves to be in front of Caroline.

We are not yet done with Australian open and a journalist already pops up the question: “How big of a goal is it to win Roland Garros and Wimbledon?”

At last, some pressure is going to be transferred from Wozniacki to Clijsters.

grendel Says:

Don’t you think, Contador, that there is screaming and screaming? Thus Azarenka is unbearable, Sharpie not much better. I don’t find the Willamses so bad, on the whole, perhaps because they are unpredictable. With them, you can get long oases of silence – and oddly, when the screaming comes, it’s obviously a result of dramatic tension and to that extent it seems (up to a point) to add to the atmosphere. I hadn’t realised they don’t scream with each other – that is slightly suspicious.

But with Sharpie and Az, it’s mechanical, automatic and sort of in your face, and all the more annoying for that.

contador Says:

YES! definitely grendel. azarenka is unbearable and i think it interferes withe line calls and is a form of gamesmanship of the unfair type, as navratalova maintains. sharpie is not much better and that young girl with the hyphenated last name from spain or portugal is the worst. i think navratalova got onto her podium abt grunting and screaming with seles, right?

yes, definitely it’s when the williams sisters play each other, it comes on toward the end of the match when the drama and maybe a real struggle as to who will win comes on. but i’ve doubted the serena v venus matches…the drama seemed to me a bit rehearsed. but many disagree.

definitely effects my desire to watch/ hear an azarenka match…and a sharapova match. though i respect the talent. kinda like watching rafa…too much loud grunting with every shot and very loud on the serve. the other huge grunter was gonzo….but he always has an irresistable entertainment value….lol. and with rafa i try to ignore so much because his tennis is worth it.

woz… gregoire is fine, thank god. it’s just i like attacking tennis like schiavone, li na and sveta plays….but sheeesh what a grunt she has! serena tennis too….amazing but her grunting, please.

contador Says:

meant the grunt schiavone has…..sveta has none that i’ve noticed.

BT Says:

Congrats to Kim on a great win.

I don’t want to linger on the rankings debate but it must be said…

It’s amazing that you can hold two grand slam titles and still not be No 1 on the WTA when the actual #1 is holding zero.

I suppose Kim missed the FO and Caroline goes deep in lots of other tournaments but its still remarkable.

Going into the AO both #1 and #2 hadn’t won a grand slam, let’s call that the Williams Vacuum.

Gregoire Gentil Says:

From a global perspective, it seems to me that this Australian open was a good success for women tennis:

– A beautiful – in all meanings of the term- match in third round between the two leggy beauties,

– An incredible marathon match in fourth round,

– An amazing (and sad!!!) overturn in semi,

– A nice 3-set final,

Thanks ladies for two weeks of high quality and entertaining tennis!

contador Says:

i keep mentioning AO radio but they do such a great job of covering everything, doubles matches and the juniors finals.

Grendel, the remarks on the juniors girls matches was amusing about the noise….they were comparing it to an all girls school. the teenage girls do scream at everything and cry….but they mature faster than the boys, who even grow later and have to keep re-adjusting their games. i guess the boy who won, jiri vesely, now 1.95 and 17, grew very fast.

also they had some interesting comments about why it’s easier for girls to transition from juniors into wta…but the competition and change from junior boys to challengers and atp tournaments is much more difficult and complicated for various reasons.

Cherry Says:

Congratulations to Kim for winning the Australian Open. Reading that she believes the ugly green pants helped her win made me smile.

Andrea Says:

High five to a great match
So nice to see a battle in the final….so often they are blow outs.
See you all in a few hours to discuss the new mens champion. Going for Murray….it’s about time he won a GS!

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