30 Jan 2011

Li crumbles as Clijsters wins fourth grand slam title

12:19 pm on 30 January 2011

Belgian tennis star Kim Clijsters shrugged off a listless start to reel in China's Li Na 3-6 6-3 6-3 to win the Australian Open and her fourth grand slam title on Saturday.

Clijsters took control of the match after Li imploded under pressure in the second set.

Stunned early by Li's fierce baseline power, third seed Clijsters upped her game to break at 3-3 in the second set in a tension-charged atmosphere at Rod Laver Arena.

Having dominated for most of the match, Li won only three of the next eight games as triple US Open champion Clijsters marched to her first Australian Open crown, her third grand slam since returning to the game in 2009 after a two-year retirement.

The 27-year-old Clijsters became the first mother to reign in Australia since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1977 and the first woman to snare back-to-back grand slam crowns since Serena Williams completed the same US Open-Australian Open double in 2008-09.

American twins Bob and Mike Bryan won the men's doubles final, beating India's Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes 6-3 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena.

The top-ranked Bryans, winning at Melbourne Park for the fifth time, now have 10 grand slam titles, one behind open era leaders Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde of Australia.