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View Poll Results: Who Will Win The 2011 Australian Open Women's Singles Title?
Caroline Wozniacki 1 14.29%
Vera Zvonareva 0 0%
Kim Clijsters 5 71.43%
Venus Williams 0 0%
Samantha Stosur 0 0%
Li Na 0 0%
Jarmila Groth 0 0%
Jelena Jankovic 0 0%
Other 1 14.29%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-27-2011, 04:21 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by bangkokbobby View Post
Live 3:30AM Eastern Saturday Morning on ESPN2...which is 7:30PM Saturday evening in Australia. Of course, I'm setting my alarm Friday night to get up and watch live.
Yeah, I think I'll catch the replay. Just gotta make sure I don't find out the result. Should be an interesting match.

The only time I am up that late (or early) is if I am in a Poker room.
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:31 PM   #62
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I am mostly covering the WTA because I don't have time to cover the WTA, LPGA, KLPGA and JLPGA while still covering the ATP...but on my blog, I am going to at least try to cover big finals, since they are on the weekend, when I have more time. Anyway, both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer fell before the final. I give my opinions on Novak Djokovic (my favorite player on the men's side) and his prospects for 2011 here:

Novak Djokovic Sweeps By Roger Federer To Advance To 2011 Australian Open Final Fairways And Forehands

...although, I have to say that if I had Ana Ivanovic in my box cheering me on, I think I might be able to beat Roger, too!


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Old 01-27-2011, 04:48 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by bangkokbobby View Post

*Drools*

*Drools some more*

I hope Andy Murray doesn't win.Perhaps I should tip him,which would all but ensure he crashes out in spectacular fashion...

Pax Vobiscum
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:30 AM   #64
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Li Na talks to the media on the off-day before the final.

Li Na Media Conference On Day 12 Of Australian Open Fairways And Forehands
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:21 PM   #65
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Thumbs up

Li Na is a very personable young lady. Gee, Bobby, if she were playing anyone but Kim I would back her all the way. However, if she were to win I certainly wouldn't be disappointed.

Viva Annika
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Old 01-28-2011, 05:10 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Buzzer View Post
Li Na is a very personable young lady. Gee, Bobby, if she were playing anyone but Kim I would back her all the way. However, if she were to win I certainly wouldn't be disappointed.

Viva Annika
Over in the Seoul Sister forum I said practically the same thing.

Originally Posted by bangkokbobby
There are a handful of players I like a bit more than Li...if ANY of them were playing her...Jelena Jankovic, Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams...I'd still root for Li to win, for the history and because she is becoming a favorite...EXCEPT Kimmie...I can't root for anybody over Kimmie...unless Monica Seles came back in a Kimiko Date-Krumm style comeback...

...but my pick of Kim is not because she is my favorite...I think it's a good match-up for Li...but I also think the distractions and pressures of her first Slam final...don't know how focused she will be coming in...dealing with that extra pressure and attention is routine for Kim...

Last edited by bangkokbobby; 01-28-2011 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:01 AM   #67
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I watched the ladies go at it from 3:30a.m. until 6:09 a.m. I'm getting a bit long in the tooth for this type thing, but it was enjoyable.

I'm willing to bet you were right there, too....eh, Bobby?

It seemed to me that LiNa might have run low on energy in the third set. She certainly didn't run out of personality, though.
Kim was her normal bubbily self before the mic.

All-in-all, a good final.

Viva Annika
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Old 01-29-2011, 12:29 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Buzzer View Post
I watched the ladies go at it from 3:30a.m. until 6:09 a.m. I'm getting a bit long in the tooth for this type thing, but it was enjoyable.

I'm willing to bet you were right there, too....eh, Bobby?

It seemed to me that LiNa might have run low on energy in the third set. She certainly didn't run out of personality, though.
Kim was her normal bubbily self before the mic.

All-in-all, a good final.

Viva Annika
Yes...I watched it live...then went to sleep to give the videos and pictures time to get uploaded so I could link them. My blog coverage of the final is here:

Kim Clijsters Captures Fourth Grand Slam Title With Win Over Li Na At 2011 Australian Open Fairways And Forehands

I am going to reprint the blog entry here. However, the videos and lots more pictures are on the blog page, so feel free to check that out. Anyway, here is what I wrote:


Kim Clijsters Wins First Australian Open Singles Championship

In a tight, riveting slugfest that exceeded the competitive drama of recent women’s Grand Slam singles finals, Kim Clijsters adjusted to Li Na’s ferocious groundstrokes and kept her composure to come from behind to dash the hopes of the entire nation of China, winning her first Australian Open singles championship, 3-6 6-3 6-3. Her win really came down to variety in her game and championship pressure experience, two aspects lacking from the talented Li Na’s repertoire. After falling behind 0-2 in the first set, Li started to hit her groove, painting lines and surprisingly pushing Clijsters around the court. The rising Chinese star had Clijsters on her heels, seemingly lost as to how to attack Li. Normally an error-prone player, Li kept her errors manageable in the first set and a half. Clijsters tried to bang away, matching Li power for power, but it was Li who was winning that battle. The Belgian lost the first set at 3 and was on serve 3-2 (but trading service breaks) in the second when she made the change that commentator Brad Gilbert had only minutes earlier suggested.


Li Na, Kim Clijsters

Clijsters changed her racquet, and I agree with Mary Joe Fernandez that she changed to a higher tension for more control, and stopped trying to just slug with Li. Instead, Clijsters started looping shots and hitting slices, waiting patiently for a chance to mix in a power shot. Suddenly, Li started hitting errors off spins, slices and mini-moonballs, instead of returning pace for pace. Many stories this morning are focusing on Li being rattled by her vocal Chinese fans and photographers, but she was starting to hit errors before that became any kind of issue. In fact, while I think Li did not handle the distractions around her well late in the match, it was Clijsters and her sudden change of tactics that threw off Li’s game. Li wants pace and Clijsters played right into her hand early by giving her power to work off. Once Kim started to mix her shots, Li had no answer. Li only has one way to play. If you can throw her timing off, which Kim did by changing tactics, she can start to have errors creep back into her game.



The other thing that Kim did that she hasn’t received enough credit for is that she showed her superior fitness. Clijsters’ body type isn’t the defined type like Francesca Schiavone or wiry, thin powerful type like Venus Williams or the bicep bearing type like Samantha Stosur, but make no mistake, she is one of, if not the best, conditioned athlete in women’s tennis. Her thighs and legs are powerful and quick, plus she can run all day. She’s not done after a set and a half. In the off-season, she added boxing training to her regimen, which I think takes her already great athleticism to another level. In the third set of the championship, the commentators noted that Li Na was slowing down reaching shots. Earlier in the match, even when Kim was losing, I thought if she could push it to a third set then she would have the physical advantage. Kim was running Li from side to side, yo-yoing her around the court. Unfortunately for Kim, Li was hitting big shots off the run. When Li wasn’t hitting big shots, Kim was missing shots even after she opened up the court. Both players were running, and when Clijsters switched to mixing spins and slices it makes you have to run even more, but I thought if it were a two set 100 meter sprint, Li would win with the way she was playing. But if it turned into a 1500 meter race, Kim would be much stronger and fresher down the stretch, as she was.



Congratulations to Kim Clijsters. In the absence of Serena Williams, Clijsters is the best women’s player in the world. Even when Serena comes back, if Clijsters keeps her game and conditioning at a high level, it would not surprise me if Clijsters remains the world’s best player. I’m also happy that she finally has embraced the “Aussie Kim” nickname. The Australian tennis fan base call her that out of affection, but it also references her past relationship with Australian tennis star Lleyton Hewitt. In interviews, it seemed as though Kim was a bit ambivalent about the nickname. She said nice things, but there was clear hesitation in her answers. I think she knows it’s out of affection, but she’s married (with a child) to another man now so I think in her mind she needed another reason to be called Aussie Kim other than her past engagement to Hewitt. Now, she has one.

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Last edited by bangkokbobby; 01-29-2011 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:13 PM   #69
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A great interview on ESPN with Chris Fowler and Pam Shriver where Kim talks about how she knew she had to have more variety in her game to overcome Li Na as well as how she noticed Li getting distracted and bothered by surrounding distractions. You never want to show your opponent that things are bothering you on-court:

Clijsters Wins 1st Australian Open Title - ESPN Video - ESPN
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:09 PM   #70
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Just though I'd do a little update on how life is changing for the two finalists, Kim Clijsters and Li Na. For Kim, everybody except die hard Wozniacki fans and the WTA computer regarded Kim as the best. But she was still ranked #2 behind Wozniacki after the Australian Open, despite Kimmie winning the last two Majors, three out of the last five majors she played, the Tour Championship and a mini-Major, the Miami-Sony Ericsson (which is what the old Lipton Championships are now called). She then led Belgium to a Fed Cup win over the USA (sorry, but it's true) before today reaching the semifinals of the Open GDF Suez in Paris, ensuring that even if she doesn't win in Paris, she will be #1 when the new rankings are published on Monday. She has previously been #1 in 2003 and 2006, but this time she becomes the first mother to ever be ranked #1.



For Li Na, her play and sparkling personality and sense of humor (and the fact that she represents a billion potential customers) has landed her contracts with Rolex, Haagen Dazs (rumored to be over a million bucks) and SpiderTech (a company that makes kinesiology tape).



...I also like a little spot Nike did with Li Na...although they show pictures from this Australian Open and tie it to her being in the top ten, she actually made the top 10 last year, becoming the first (but I suspect definitely not the last) Chinese player to be ranked in the top 10 in singles. Although this year she is currently 7th, her highest ranking to date (I think she peaked at #9 last year), became Asia's first Grand Slam finalist and garnered far more press than she did last year. Hence, the sponsor interest.

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Last edited by bangkokbobby; 02-11-2011 at 11:22 PM.
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