Australian Open 2011 Women's Semifinals: Kim Clijsters and Caroline Wozniacki

Lauren LynchCorrespondent IIJanuary 26, 2011

Tennis Now
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There will be plenty of fireworks down under Thursday as the top three seeds and the hottest player at the start of 2011 collide in the Australian Open semifinals.

No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki takes on No. 9 Li Na in the first semifinal, which begins at 10:30 p.m. EST Wednesday night, with both players after their first-ever Grand Slam title.

At 12:30 a.m. EST Thursday morning,  No. 2 Vera Zvonareva takes on No. 3 Kim Clijsters in a rematch of the US Open final.

Zvonareva is in pursuit of her third straight Grand Slam final (and first title), while Clijsters is after her second straight Slam and her first outside the US Open.

Here's a look at the match breakdowns.

Li Na (No. 9) vs. Caroline Wozniacki (No. 1)

Na beat Wozniacki here last year in the fourth round in straight sets and also in Sydney's second round a year ago in three sets. Clearly, she owns the southern hemisphere against the world's No. 1.

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Wozniacki has shaken off the early-season questions on whether she had lost her intensity when she struggled early on. Na has been white hot, having already defeated Clijsters in the final of Sydney this year.


Current Rank: 11th

Season Record: 10-0

Career Record: 367-133

Career Titles: Four

All-Time Australian Record: 17-5 

Australian Open History: 2005—third round; 2006—first round; 2007—fourth round; 2008—third round; 2009—DNP; 2010—semifinals; 2011—semifinals.


Current Rank: first

Season Record: 5-1.

Career Record: 240-91

Career Titles: 12.

All-Time Australian Record: 13-3.

Australian Open History: 2008—fourth round; 2009—third round; 2010—fourth round; 2011—semifinals.

Head to Head: Na leads 2-1

2008 Luxembourg, Wozniacki 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-2

2010 Sydney, Li 2-6, 6-3, 6-2

2010 Australian Open, Li 6-4, 6-3

Vera Zvonareva (No. 2) vs. Kim Clijsters (No. 3)

These two know each other very well, having met for the first time 8.5 years ago and playing four times in 2010. Zvonareva took three of those four victories after losing her first five times against Clijsters.

Clijsters won the US Open title in dominant fashion a year ago, 6-2, 6-1, but Zvonareva responded with a 6-4, 7-5 win in the quarterfinals of the Tour Championships.

Zvonareva could make it three straight Grand Slam finals if she wins, but without a victory in the big match, it's sort of an empty accomplishment.

Clijsters has two US Open titles to her credit, but if she wants to regain No. 1 and establish herself in the pantheon of all-time legends, this is the chance to pad the resume.


Current Rank: Second

Season Record: 5-1. 

Career Record 402-189

Career Titles: 10

All-Time Australian Open Record: 16-8. 

Australian Open History: 2003—first round; 2004—fourth round; 2005—second round; 2006—first round; 2007—fourth round; 2008—first round; 2009—semifinals; 2010—fourth round; 2011—semifinals.


Current Rank: Third

Season Record: 9-1. 

Career Record 489-115

Career Titles: 40. 

All-Time Australian Open Record: 32-8. 

Australian Open History: 2000—first round; 2001—fourth round; 2002—semifinals; 2003—semifinals; 2004—finals; 2006—semifinals; 2007—semifinals; 2010—third round; 2011—semifinals. 

Head to Head: Clijsters leads 6-3

2002 US Open, Clijsters 1-6, 7-5, 6-4

2006 Eastbourne, Clijsters 3-0

2006 Wimbledon, Clijsters 7-5, 6-3

2006 Stanford, Clijsters 6-2, 3-6, 6-1

2006 Hasselt, Clijsters 6-4, 3-6, 6-4

2010 Wimbledon, Zvonareva, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2

2010 Montreal, Zvonareva 2-6, 6-3, 6-2

2010 US Open, Clijsters, 6-2, 6-1

2010 Tour Championships, Zvonareva, 6-4, 7-5

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