Sunday, 22 January 2012

Comeback Clijsters saves 4 match points to stun Li

Kim Clijsters produced an incredibly gutsy performance to fight off a worrying ankle injury and 4 match points to topple Li Na in a 4-6 7-6  6-4 victory.  It will be difficult for any match in 2012  to top the drama and tension that this 4th round match provided.  It looked to be all over for Clijsters, who declared that this will be her last Australian Open when she rolled her ankle at 3-3 in the first set.  It was a strange coincidence as this was the second match in a row for Li where her opponent suffered an ankle injury.  Clijsters bravely battled on and found herself down 6-2 in the second set tiebreak.  Li was unable to convert on any of the 4 match points with two unforced errors and two winners from Clijsters.  The highlights of the second set tiebreak can be found below although apologies for the quality as these are the only videos I could find!

Clijsters saving 4 match points in the second set tiebreak

It was an alarming choke from the Chinese player who must have felt the pressure playing against an injured opponent.  Clijsters went onto to take the second set tiebreak, 8 points to 6.  She hit just 5 winners to 23 unforced errors in the second set but her grit and determination made up for her lack of winners.  As to be expected, Li capitulated in the third set and fell 5-1 down; however there was still more drama to come as Clijsters let a 5-1 lead slip to 5-4 before eventually wrapping off a terrific victory.  You can only admire the fighting spirit of Kim Clijsters in this match.  I wonder how her ankle will be for the next round, but i'm sure we will hear more on that tomorrow...

Kim Clijsters

Clijsters will play Caroline Wozniacki in the quarter-finals after she beat Jelena Jankovic in a 6-0 7-5 victory.  Wozniacki was superb in the first set, but had to fight hard to come through a nail-biting second set.  In the first set, Wozniacki produced one of the most impressive sets of tennis I have ever seen her play.  She was attacking the ball, playing the forehand with real convinction and winning all the mini-battles with Jankovic.  In the second set, it was more of the same from Wozniacki although a flattened Jankovic started to make more errors and double faults.  Jankovic is known as a fighter and she dug deep and started to come into the net where she was very impressive throughout the match winning 15 out of 21 net approaches.  Wozniacki's game dipped and she sinked back into defensive mode as she began to dollop the second serve over the net. 

Caroline Wozniacki

Jankovic fought back from 4-1 down in the second set to 5-5 saving a match point on a tight forehand error from Wozniacki.  However Jankovic's game fell apart in the final two games as both players pushed from the back of the court.  It was a match of two halves from Wozniacki, but you cannot deny she is the ultimate competitor.  It was vintage 2011 tennis from Jankovic as she showed what she is capable of in terms of her shots, but mentally she cannot cut it at this level.  I think she has always struggled mentally, but when she was number one she was a much more consistent player so was able to get past a lot of her opponents.  Jankovic has lost that consistency in her strokes as she demonstrated today with a whopping 50 unforced errors, which has made her so much more vulnerable.  

Jelena Jankovic
Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska will meet in the second quarter-final from the top half of the draw after enjoying straightforward victories.  Azarenka beat Iveta Benesova, 6-2 6-2 with another accomplished performance on Rod Laver Arena.  The only struggle she had was serving out the match as it took five match points to finish off Benesova. The final game of the match can be found in the video below... Radwanska meanwhile had a cakewalk against a terrible Julia Goerges as she thrashed the German, 6-1 6-1.  Radwanska played very well hitting 10 winners to just 3 unforced errors, but Goerges failed to hit anything in the court amassing 27 unforced errors throughout the match.  I am happy to say that I had a successful day of predicting... I got all 4 winners today :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment