Australian Open 2011: The Land of Threes

Alex SandersonCorrespondent IIIJanuary 28, 2011

Clijsters and Djokovic are each just one match away from capturing a coveted grand slam trophy
Clijsters and Djokovic are each just one match away from capturing a coveted grand slam trophyMark Dadswell/Getty Images

In a year comprised solely of 0's, 1's and 2's, the 2011 version of the Australian Open has thus far been all about the 3's.

Three seeds Novak Djokovic and Kim Clijsters have both punched their tickets into their respective championship matches, and both will be the favorites to take home the coveted title.

Both Djokovic and Clijsters have had a little bit of good fortune leading up to their strong chances to add another grand slam title to their resumes.

For Clijsters, a nagging injury to Serena Williams that has kept her out of the last two majors, has given her a great chance to grab a firm stranglehold on women's tennis; for Djokovic, an injury that limited world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in his quarterfinal loss has given him his best chance at a major title since he won down under three years ago.

It is not a forgone conclusion that either will win their championship matches, however.

Li Na has not lost a match so far in a strong start in 2011 that already includes a win over Clijsters. Andy Murray and David Ferrer have also had strong showings in Melbourne and could both present problems for Novak.

However, Djokovic is by far the hottest tennis player on the planet right now, not even dropping a set against both Tomas Berdych and Roger Federer over the last two rounds.

Clijsters, meanwhile, is clearly the best women's grand slam player going these days, with Serena sidelined and no clear return date in sight.

With the two top players on each side of the game out, look for Djokovic and Clijsters to slam the door on their opponents and record their second and fourth grand slam titles, respectively, as the 2011 Australian Open comes to a close over the next couple days.