2011 Australian Open Women’s Finals: Li Na vs Kim Clijsters
No. 3 seed Kim Clijsters takes on No. 9 seed Li Na for the Australian Open 2011 Women’s Final match at the Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia. Game time is scheduled to start at 16:30 (Melbourne) Saturday January 29, 2011.
27-year-old U.S. Open Champion Kim Clijsters cruised into the Australian Open final after beating No. 2-ranked Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-3 — repeating the result of their U.S. Open final last year. Clijsters was the only Grand Slam winner to qualify for the semifinals.
In the other semifinal match, 28-year-old China’s Li Na overcame and upset top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki to become the first Chinese player to reach the championship match at a Grand Slam. Li rallied to win the first of the women’s semifinals 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 on Thursday, saving match point when Wozniacki was serving at 5-4 in the second set.
Clijsters is 4-2 against Li, but the Chinese girl has won two of the past three, including the recent final in Sydney.
“Li Na makes history entering the Australian Open final” read the front page of the Beijing News. Inside, the tabloid ran almost two pages of coverage on Li’s semifinal upset over top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki.
The WTA expects Li’s success to help spur the growth of tennis in China.
Kim Clijsters won her second straight Grand Slam title and the fourth of her career, struggling early before beating Li Na 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 Saturday in the 2011 Australian Open final.
The result ended the outstanding run of Li, who became the first Chinese player to reach a Grand Slam singles final.
Li appeared to become upset with some of the Chinese spectators in the crowd in the third set, and asked the chair umpire to intervene. She later complained about the flashes from photographers at center court.
U.S. Open champion Clijsters’ win came in her likely last appearance at Melbourne Park — she said that 2011 could be her last full year on the tour.