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Kim Clijsters' ability to play in the 2012 Australian Open had been in question as a result of the hip injury she experienced in Brisbane shortly before the tournament began. That injury was so severe that it caused her to have to retire.
Would Clijsters be able to defend her 2011 singles title and would she be able to get that one last experience at the Aussie Open as she has decided to retire at the end of the season?
Well, all questions seemed to have been erased as a result of her first week performances.
Clijsters has been in true championship form. She has defeated each of her opponents in straight sets.
There's one match, however, that stands shoulders above the rest—her faceoff against Li Na.
This match was basically a rematch of the 2011 women's singles final.
Li Na seemed to easily get the win in the first set, but the second set was the test for and brought out the best in Clijsters.
First, while returning, Clijsters rolled her ankle. Obviously, by the expression on her face, how gingerly she walked off the court and the nervousness in her voice, she was in pain.
She ended up needing a medical timeout. The medical team treated and wrapped the ankle to give it stability and strength, and Clijsters headed back to the court.
It seemed as if that was the beginning of the end for Clijsters as she eventually found herself facing a possible elimination, but she battled and Li Na battled and ended dead even at 6-6.
It was tiebreaker time. Once again, it seemed as if it was the beginning of the end. But this was Kim Clijsters.
Facing four matchpoints in the tiebreaker, Clijsters saved them all, eventually winning, 7-6.
Third set. There was another shift, and it seemed for sure that the momentum Clijsters had built up was lost again, but counting Clijsters out was not a smart move.
Out of nowhere, it seemed she regrouped. She lost one matchpoint, but on the second one, she got her win and took her ticket to the fourth round.
Looking at Clijsters' performance, it seemed as if she packed away the pain and memory of the ankle roll and went straight for the finish line.
Clijsters, though not seeded high in the tournament, like five-time champion Serena Williams, is also a heavy favorite to take the singles title.