20 March 2011

Day 13 at the Aussie Open: 29 January

Women's final day.

It's a pretty amazing feeling to walk into Rod Laver Arena on finals night and there was such great energy as I think most of Melbourne was pretty happy with the women's final. I haven't been there personally to witness one of Serena's five wins at the Aussie Open but I get the sense she probably isn't as well loved as she should be. 
I imagine not many tennis fans dislike Kim or Li. I knew there was going to be a massive amount of cheering for Kim Clijsters who of course the Aussies were pulling for. The Chinese fans were there but not in huge numbers so I did my best to cheer for Li Na.

She started off badly but would take the first set as Kim was a bit erratic. I admit I hoped sloppy Kim would remain but she started to pull it together in set two. Li Na certainly had her chances but I noticed a few poor parts to her game. One, she cannot put away balls at net! She had a lot of high balls and she kept hitting backhand swing volleys to try and put them away and she missed a lot. And her overheads were shockers - just no power to them. I don't recall her putting any overhead away for a winner. I was puzzled. She's got a wicked forehand but most times she hit her backhand I cringed. Her serve and forehand are certainly her strengths.
Meanwhile, Kim is one player who can handle Li Na's power and props to her she was steadier in this high pressure situation and Li Na just couldn't make it happen. Kim has a lot of grand slam finals under her belt and I think that experience was the deciding factor.


Even though I was pulling for Li Na, I was happy for Kim. It's good that she was able to win a slam outside the US Open but I guess I'm still bitter than Serena wasn't here to defend her 2009 and 2010 finals. 

Kim of course was emotional to have broken through in Melbourne

Li Na continued to charm in her oncourt interview but I don't recall seeing a grand slam champ talk as much after a win as Kim did. It was on and on and I thought it was too long, but I realise Kim is pretty chatty.

So there it was - the women's final:




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