For once, the women’s final was more intense and more interesting than the men’s final.

A disappointing final ended a tournament rich in emotions and incredible matches: Nalbandian-Hewitt, Verdasco-Tipsarevic, Cilic-Isner, Schiavone-Kuznetsova just to name a few.

This match was supposed to be the meeting of the sport’s next two Major rivals. Instead Murray was no match for Novak , who destroyed him 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 in 2h39.

Check out the men’s final highlights and Novak’s photoshoot with the trophy.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9_-41naFGw[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JtCZ6JA_I8[/youtube]

It was more difficult than expected for Aussie Kim who needed 3 sets (3-6 6-3 6-3) to defeat Na Li and capture her first Oz Open title, her fourth Grand Slam overall.

Check out the women’s final highlights and Kim’s photoshoot with the trophy.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dqR4zqP8sY[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qPcNWsOuV4[/youtube]

Next for Kim: the Fed Cup in Antwerp and the Open GDF Suez in Paris.

The first time they play each other they were 12 and Andy Murray won over Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-1.
The two good friends will meet tomorrow in final of this 2011 Australian Open, a tournament rich in emotions.
Who will the first Slam of the season? please share your thoughts.

Djokovic’s road to the final

Round Opponent Score
R1 Marcel Granollers 6-1, 6-3, 6-1
R2 Ivan Dodig 7-5, 6-7, 6-0, 6-2
R3 Viktor Troicki 6-2 ret
R4 Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-4, 6-0
QF Tomas Berdych 6-1, 7-6, 6-1
SF Roger Federer 7-6, 7-5, 6-4

Read More

Kim Clijsters qualified for her second Australian Open final (she lost to Henin in 2004) with a straight sets win over world number 2 Vera Zvonareva in semifinals. It will be her eight Grand Slam final overall.

Kim stated that this final will most likely be her last competitive match in Australia, and that 2011 will be her last full year on tour, in order to have a second child.

Clijster’s road to the final

Round Opponent Score
R1 Dinara Safina 6-0, 6-0
R2 Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-3
R3 Alize Cornet 7-6, 6-3
R4 Ekaterina Makarova 7-6, 6-2
QF Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 7-6
SF Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-3

With her win over world number one Caroline Wozniacki, Na Li became the first Chinese player to reach a Grand Slam final.
Li is also the oldest Melbourne Park finalist since 33-year-old Chris Evert lost to Steffi Graf in 1988.

Li’s road to the final

Round Opponent Score
R1 Sofia Arvidsson 6-1, 7-5
R2 Evgeniya Rodina 6-3, 6-2
R3 Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-2, 6-1
R4 Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 6-3
QF Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 6-4
SF Caroline Wozniacki 3-6, 7-5, 6-3

Clijsters leads their head to head 4 to 2 (see below) and she’s obviously the big favorite. But Li won their last encounter in Sydney 2 weeks ago.

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score in final
2006 Sydney Hard Clijsters 6-3 6-1
2006 Wimbledon Grass Clijsters 6-4 7-5
2007 Sydney Hard Clijsters 6-1 1-6 7-5
2007 Miami Hard Li 4-6 6-4 6-2
2009 US Open Hard Clijsters 6-2 6-4
2011 Sydney Hard Li 7-6(3) 6-3

Who will win the 2011 Australian Open?

  • Kim Clijsters (51%, 21 Votes)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (22%, 9 Votes)
  • Vera Zvonareva (10%, 4 Votes)
  • Other (10%, 4 Votes)
  • Sam Stosur (2%, 1 Votes)
  • Justine Henin (2%, 1 Votes)
  • Maria Sharapova (2%, 1 Votes)
  • Venus Williams (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 41

Loading ... Loading ...

Is she gone for good this time?

Justine Henin retired from tennis for a second time Wednesday, citing a lingering right elbow injury.

The past few weeks, there was a little bit more pain every day, but I thought my willpower would prevail. Today, the tests and my doctors are adamant. It is clear now that I have to accept that my career ends for good. Even if it is hard, very hard, at a time when I came back with enormous fighting spirit.

Henin, 28, won 43 WTA singles titles and seven Grand Slam singles titles, including four French Open titles, one Australian Open title, and two US Open titles. She has also won the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships twice and the singles gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics.

She announced retirement from professional tennis in May 2008 and returned to competition in 2010.
She reached the 2010 Australian Open final (lost to Serena Williams) but missed the most part of the season, due to an elbow injury.

Kim Clijsters, who will play Li Na in Saturday’s Australian Open final after defeating Vera Zvonareva in straight sets, said she was surprised by the news:

“I was obviously surprised when I heard that news. To be honest, I haven’t been in touch with her, so I don’t know what the situation is with her elbow. It is a sad situation to see such a great player end her career on such a note.”

It was against Clijsters at Wimbledon that Henin slipped awkwardly and suffered the injury to her elbow that ultimately ended her career.

I must say I never really like her personality but her game was beautiful to watch, in particular her one handed backhand. I wish her the best for the future.