Australian Open 2012: Victoria Azarenka Defeats Kim Clijsters

Shane LambertAnalyst IIJanuary 26, 2012

Victoria Azarenka
Victoria AzarenkaLucas Dawson/Getty Images

Victoria Azarenka has qualified for the first Grand Slam final of her career as the Belarussian eliminated Kim Clijsters in the semifinals of the 2012 Australian Open.

The line score in the match ended at 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 and took over two hours to complete.

Clijsters was the defending champion at Melbourne Park, but 'Aussie Kim' was unable to duplicate her result from last season. As a result, a new star is born in Melbourne while Clijsters will be taking a tumble down the rankings when its updated following the Australian Open.

Azarenka is competing in her 25th Grand Slam event and she has been tipped for the top by many for a few years now. With a win in the final, she could become the world No. 1 player, although either Maria Sharapova or Petra Kvitova will be standing in her way this weekend.

Those two players will meet in the second women's semifinal to be played on Day 11 from the 2012 Australian Open.

Both players look exceptionally dangerous and Azarenka might find herself an underdog in the final no matter who she plays, with Kvitova the betting favorite heading into her match against Sharapova (source: bet365).

For Clijsters, the loss may be the final match she is to play at Melbourne Park in her career. The one-time champion has hinted that 2012 will be her final season on the WTA Tour.