China′s Li Na powers past Cibulkova to clinch Australian Open | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 25.01.2014
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China's Li Na powers past Cibulkova to clinch Australian Open

Chinese tennis ace Li Na has won the women's Australian Open final against Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova. It was the third attempt at the title for Li, who became the oldest ever woman to win the tournament.

Li stormed to her second Grand Slam win on Saturday, beating the Slovak underdog Cibulkolva in just two sets.

At the age of 31, Li is the oldest woman ever to win the Australian Open. The player was the beaten finalist in two of the last three years at Melbourne Park's Rod Laver Arena.

Both players broke each other's serve twice in the first set before Li proved her quality in the tiebreak to clinch the first 7-6. The second set saw the Chinese player more at ease, roaring to victory, 6-0.

It was a break in pattern for Li, who won her first set but lost over three in both her previous Australian Open finals, against Kim Clijsters in 2011 and Victoria Azarenka last year.

"Finally I got her (the trophy). Last two times was very close," said Li at the trophy ceremony. "Congrats to Dominika, she had a great tournament," she added, before going on to thank both her agent and husband.

Cibulkova, nicknamed the "pocket rocket" for her diminutive size, overcame Maria Sharapova and Agnieszka Radwanska on her way to the final. "This was the most fantastic two weeks of my life, I think I'm gonna cry," said Cibulkova.

In the final against Azarenka last year, Li twisted her ankle and hit her head on the court, requiring medical treatment.

The men's final on Sunday sees top seed Rafael Nadal take on Swiss eighth seed Satnislas Wawrinka.

In the boys' title there was success for top-seeded 16-year-old Alexander Zverev, of Germany, who beat second seed Stefan Kozlov of the US. The girls' title was claimed by Russia's Elizaveta Kulichkova, who convincingly defeated Jana Fett, of Croatia.

rc/tj (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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