2011 Australian Open – Women’s Final Quick Analysis
I was looking forward to this match all day and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Clijsters burst out of the gate, winning the first eight points of the match and going up 2-0. Li, as she has done time and time again, didn’t back down from the challenge and found her range. She started crushing balls from the baseline and Clijsters tried to hit with her shot-for-shot. This was not a successful strategy and Li won the opening set 6-3 and was 3-2 in the second set when Clijsters swallowed her pride and staring hitting with more spin, deep lobs and angled shots on short balls. This was the turning point in the match and it really through Li off her game. Clijsters came right back, winning the last two sets 6-3, 6-3.
Experience also came into play as Li was bothered by the fans, the photographers and even the Chinese spectators. It took Clijsters much of her career to let these little things go and she has now won the last two Grand Slam tournaments and captured her first Australian Open title.
I want to congratulate both women on a fantastic match. Just by reaching the finals, Li has already done so much for the sport of tennis in China. She is an inspiration and she plays the game the right way. She definitely has green pastures ahead. What can I say about Clijsters? She is a joy to watch and she is a role model to all young girls playing the game. She also can teach you so much when you watch her. Today’s lesson: how to adapt. She showed you that you need to be flexible when the situation calls for it and if you can change when needed you will be successful more often that not!