2011 AUSTRALIAN OPEN CHAMPION
Kim Clijsters has done it again.
She defeated No. 9 Li Na of China, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, to capture her first-ever Australian Open title and 4th overall Grand Slam title. Clijsters, who has hinted that 2011 may be her final year, has now won back-to-back Grand Slam titles after winning the U.S. Open title last summer. It was her 3rd overall U.S. Open title (2005, 2009, 2010) and now she has added an Aussie to her Hall of Fame resume.
And the way she's playing, I don't think retirement is a good idea right now.
Clijsters will move up to No. 2 in the world when the new rankings coming out just 140 points behind World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki. Wozniacki will retain the No. 1 ranking by virtue of reaching the Semifinals at the Aussie but Clijsters has put herself within striking distance. As it stands Wozniazcki has 8655 ranking points to Clijsters' 8515. A virtual dead heat.
Next up for Clijsters-- the French Open, where she should be the favorite. Clijsters has never won the French Open but she did reach the Final in 2001 and 2003.
As for Na, she started the match strong winning the first set but the pressure of the moment seemed to have caught up to her in the second set. There were moments when she seemed to lose her composer and an obvious frustration set in. She blamed everyone from the flash-happy photographers to the noisy Chinese fans in the stands for her loss of concentration. She even complained to the chair umpire about it. But all that is understandable because, after all, it was a pressure-packed moment for her. Not only was this her first-ever Grand Slam Final but it was the first-ever for a player from China. Heck, it was the first-ever for any player from anywhere in Asia.