Another day, another marathon win for Petra Kvitova. She defeats Yanina Wickmayer 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(3).
The Belgian served for the match at 5-4 in the third, but Kvitova came back and qualified for the semifinals.

Petra Kvitova

Next match: Petkovic vs Mattek-Sands
For whatever reason, I was thinking Petkovic was a nice, funny player, able to do other things than hit hard from the baseline. How wrong I was.
She just kept shouting at her coach, at the umpire and at herself. And her tennis? Well, nothing new under the sun: baseline play with a couple of dropshots. Disappointing.

Andrea Petkovic

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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.

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

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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.

After Safina and Ivanovic, an other former world number one was knocked out of the tournament: Jelena Jankovic was defeated by 54-ranked Shuai Peng.
Second seed Zvonareva was pushed to the limit by Serbia’s Bojana Jovanovski before recovering to win 1-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Kim Clijsters and Sam Stosur continue to impress and book their place in the third round.

On the men’s side, Nadal, Soderling and Murray progress easily to the last 32.

Seeds upsets:
Jelena Jankovic (7), Maria Kirilenko (18), Alisa Kleybanova (24), Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (26), Michael Llodra (22), David Nalbandian (27), Thomaz Bellucci (30)

Aussie of the day:
The big Australian hope Bernard Tomic, defeated the much more experienced Feliciano Lopez in straight sets. The 2008 Australian Open junior champion is more known for his feud with Lleyton Hewitt than for his ATP results, but one say he has finally matured. He will next encounter world number one Rafael Nadal.

IMG_5779

Match of the day: Marcos Baghdatis defeats Juan Martin Del Potro
Juan Martin Del Potro is back from injury but not yet at his top. He lost to 2006 finalist Marcos Baghdatis in four sets 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. The Cypriot will play Jurgen Melzer on Saturday for a place in the fourth round.

Matches to follow on day 5:
Svetlana Kuznetsova(RUS)[23] vs Justine Henin(BEL)[11]
Stanislas Wawrinka(SUI)[19] vs Gael Monfils(FRA)[12]
Nicolas Almagro(ESP)[14] vs Ivan Ljubicic(CRO)[17]