Clijsters - Now I'm Aussie Kim

Down Under Queen accepts longstanding nickname after triumph

By Elliot Ball   Last updated: 29th January 2011  

Clijsters - Now I'm Aussie Kim

Clijsters and Li: With their respective trophies

Now I feel you guys can call me 'Aussie Kim' because I won the title!

Kim Clijsters
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Newly-crowned Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters conceded Li Na gave her a serious scare in Saturday's showpiece.

The Belgian ace confessed she feared the worst when her Chinese opponent romped ahead to take the first set in 38 minutes.

Indeed, Clijsters was second best in the opening set but the pre-tournament favourite recovered to clinch her fourth major title 3-6 6-3 6-3.

And the 27-year-old admitted that she had to dig deep to beat Li in three sets out on Rod Laver Arena.


"I'm a little shaky still," said the third seed after the match. "Li Na was definitely a very tough competitor. She really brought it to me at the start of the rallies. I was on the back foot and leaning back and I don't like that.

"During the first set, I thought 'Wow! This is going too fast for me!' It was tough. I felt in the second set she was getting a bit nervous and I was just happy I was able to pull it off in the end.

"Li and I have played some amazing matches over a number of years and I hope we can play many more Grand Slam finals in the future."

Clijsters has been popular with the Aussie fans since her days as Lleyton Hewitt's girlfriend and added: "Now I feel you guys can call me 'Aussie Kim' because I won the title!"

Li, seeded ninth at Melbourne Park, was philosophical about the defeat in her first grand slam final.

The 28-year-old said: "I have to congratulate Kim for a great tournament and also thank my team. They push me a lot and, if they didn't stay behind me, I couldn't do anything. It doesn't matter if I won or lost because I tried my best."

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