After making it to the same stage three of the past four years, Li Na is finally taking home her second Grand Slam title after a triumphant victory in the Australian Open women's final. In the men's double final, favorite Lukasz Kubot and Robert Lindstedt were too much for Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen
After shaking her nerves in the first set, Li pulled through and dominated the rest of the match over her opponent Dominika Cibulkova. This marks Na's first Australian Open title and the second Grand Slam of the 31-year-old's career, after winning the 2011 French Open.
Li was noticeably overcome with emotion following the 7-6(3), 6-0 win and followed it up with one of the most hilarious post-game interviews in recent memory. ESPN Tennis provided video of the on-court speech on Twitter:
Though the men's double final wasn't as highly publicized as the women's singles final, it wasn't void of a great storyline.
After defeating four seeded teams—including a memorable victory in Round 3 against world number ones in Americans Bob and Mike Bryan—Butorac and Klaasen faced No. 14 seeded Kubot and Lindstedt in their first Grand Slam final.
Unfortunately, the underdog story came to an end for the duo as Kubot and Lindstedt fought through two dominant sets, 6-3, 6-3, to pull out the victory. Here is a breakdown of the scores, a few highlights and full recaps of the two matches from Melbourne.
Can Li win another Grand Slam this year?
It took three tries, but Li is finally heading home from Melbourne with the women's final victory.
One of the biggest reasons for Li's dominance in the final was thanks to her serving. The Chinese player has been dominant throughout the tournament with her new grip, but showed off in the final, especially in the second set with a 6-0 victory.
By the Min Tennis reported a few statistics following the match that show how dominant Li's serve was:
Some stats: Cibulkova was only able to win 21% of points when 2nd serving, compared to Li's 63%. Double faults LN 3-7 DC Winners LN 34-11 DC— ByTheMin Tennis (@ByTheMinTennis) January 25, 2014
Needless to say, the win marks one of the biggest moments of Li's career. After coming so close two out of the previous years only to lose to a player who was favored over her, Li broke through and will now find herself No. 3 in the rankings following the win, according to Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times.
Li was clearly overjoyed with her dominant performance and couldn't stop smiling following the match, as the Australian Open's official Vine account shows:
As for Cibulkova, the loss means that she will not take home the first Grand Slam of her still young career, but she certainly proved that she can contend for future titles on the big stages. At just 24 years old, the Slovakian is finally emerging and will catapult to the No. 13 ranking, according to Rothenberg's previous tweet.
Cibulkova appeared to realize how much reaching the tournament final meant when she spoke after the match, according to the Australian Open official Twitter account:
#Cibulkova "I was waiting for this for a long time. I am just 24 years old & I feel like my game is there to challenge big names. Why now?"— Australian Open (@AustralianOpen) January 25, 2014
With the victory, Li comes away with a moment of jubilance while Cibulkova, even in defeat, knows that the future is bright after coming so close to her first Grand Slam victory.
Men's Double Final
After fighting their way into the men's doubles final, Butorac and Klaasen just were not enough for the duo of Kubot and Lindstedt.
With the 6-3, 6-3 victory, Kubot and Lindstedt will see a huge rise in their rankings while Butorac and Klaasen will be happy just to be ranked after spurning several of the top seeds in the tournament en route to the final.
While their moves on the court were spectacular, the celebration was a different story. Well, Lindstedt certainly seemed to get it right after going to the crowd for his celebration, according to the Australian Open's Vine account:
After the win, an overjoyed Kubot decided to take the celebration a little over the top. Alongside Lindstedt's celebratory clapping on the court, Kubot decided to do a little can-can action for the fans in the stadium.
Joe Fleming of USA Today tweeted a photo of the festivities:
Kubot and Lindstedt, doubles champs (GETTY) pic.twitter.com/VinFanmJW8— Joe Fleming (@ByJoeFleming) January 25, 2014
Tennis Now also poked a little fun at the Polish player:
Not only does Kubot sport a muscle shirt, but he does a good Polish jig to celebrate the championship #ausopen— TennisNow (@Tennis_Now) January 25, 2014
The No. 14 team certainly appears to be on the rise after a huge win in the men's double final, but can they continue the success. The same goes for Butorac and Klaasen, who came just short in the final after knocking off some of the best duos in the game.
Both tandems will look to continue their success in Grand Slams to come. But for now, both come away after leaving some great memories on the court in Melbourne.