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China's Li Na wins her first Australian Open title

English.news.cn   2014-01-25 19:23:40

(SP)AUSTRALIA-MELBOURNE-TENNIS-LI NA
Li Na (R) of China and Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia pose for pictures during the awarding ceremony for women's singles final match at 2014 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 25, 2014. Li Na beated Cibulkova 2-0 to claim the title of the event. (Xinhua/Li Jundong)

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MELBOURNE, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Two-time runner-up Li Na of China finally won her first Australian Open women's singles title here on Saturday after beating Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 7-6 (7/3), 6-0 in the final.

This was the second Grand Slam title for the 31-year-old Li, world No. 4 before this final. Li clinched the French Open singles title in 2011, becoming the first Asian player to step on a Grand Slam singles top podium. 

Li, the fourth seed, broke Cibulkova's serve in the opening game of today's final, but had to fight 70 minutes to take the first set through a tiebreak. She made two double faults in the sixth game, which allowed Cibulkova to break back.

The two players broke each other once again in the 11th and 12th game. And mini-breaks exchanged in the tiebreak before Li served out to win the first set.

Cibulkova, 24, and the first Slovak woman to reach a Grand Slam final, lost her pace in the second set as she failed to keep even just one serve game.

Li improved her consistence and concentration, winning the second set in only 27 minutes.

Li had entered Australian Open women's singles final in 2011 and 2013.

In 2011, she led 1-0 against Kim Clijsters from Belgium in her first Grand Slam final, but failed in the end.

A year ago against Victoria Azarenka from Belarus, Li fell down, twisting her ankle and hitting her head so hard on the court that she suffered concussion.

"The last two time was close," said Li Na. "Finally I can have this."  

Editor: Yang Yi
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