In her first real test of this young season, Kim Clijsters was simply too good for Victoria Azarenka, defeating the Belarussian 6-3 6-2. Clijsters, of Belgium, broke Azarenka five times to reach within two victories of an opening season title. While this is a great sign for Clijsters, there are still some great players left in this tournament, including China’s Li Na and Serbia’s Bojana Jovanovski. Also, it is difficult to say because she is playing well now that an Australian Open win looks likely. Clijsters won a tournament previous to the Australian Open in 2010 only to get crushed by Nadia Petrova in what was one her most, if not the most, lackluster performances in her career.
Also impressive, but in a different way, was LI Na’s victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova 3-6 7-6 (4) 6-3. LI was trailing 3-6 3-5 in this match before storming back to snatch victory from defeat. Against an all-time great like Kuznetsova, it took a lot of will and fortitude not to fold when nearly down and out.
“Maybe I think too much like ‘win or lose’,” said Li. “I didn’t think about how I should play the next point. So I think about, ‘Okay, maybe I should try because I didn’t want to have to say after the match I think about, Oh, if I should do something maybe I can win this match or something. So I just try to calm down.”