MELBOURNE PARK, Australia â€“ Kim Clijsters rallied from a rolled ankle, a set and four match points down to upend Li Na 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4 in a rematch of last yearâ€™s Australian Open Womenâ€™s final.
Clijsters who seems to constantly battling injuries rolled her ankle in the first set at 3-3 and asked for treatment. She thought about retiring from the match: “It definitely crossed my mind at some point, but I knew if I could just try to kind of let the medication sink in or, you know, if I could get through the first 20 minutes, half hour, you know, I think the pain would go away a little bit and then maybe with the adrenaline I could just fly through it….I’m happy that I didn’t give up.”
The swig of momentum in the match came in the second set tiebreak when Li was up 6-2 with four match points
Clijsters talked about facing the four match points: “I didn’t want to give her anything for free. You know, if she was going to come up with an ace or with a winner, you know, too good, but I didn’t want to make the mistake.
“You know, I’m not saying that that forehand dropshot was a good choice, but, you know, you make decisions. Luckily, that one turned out okay.
“You know, I think she was a little bit, you know, lost or maybe a little bit confused at that time, and she made two pretty easy mistakes when we changed sides.
“That made me, you know, believe in it even more in the beginning of that second set to just stick through it from the beginning and try to get, you know, as many breaks as I could in the beginning.”
A tearful Li spoke about the devastating loss: “Doesn’t matter close or far away. In the end I lost the match. This is only one thing.
“I mean, I think I was pretty not bad today. Just unlucky, yeah.
“I mean, of course after lose after the tiebreak I was think I was a little bit, how do you say, worrying about myself because I have four match points, but I didn’t take it.”
Clijsters will face world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinals. Wozniacki stopped Jankovic in the Sunday evening match 6-0, 7-5.
Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News