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Clijsters primed for shot at Aussie title

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Originally published on: 28/01/11 03:40

Kim Clijsters was in confident mood in her pre-final press conference on Friday as she gears up to face Li Na in pursuit of her fourth Grand Slam title and her first major triumph away from Flushing Meadows.

Clijsters lost to Li when the pair met in the Sydney final earlier this month, but after comfortably beating Vera Zvonareva in straight sets on Thursday, the Belgian believes she is in a better frame of mind to face the Wuhan-born 28-year-old in their biggest meeting to date.

“I don’t think I was quite ready to compete 100% against her (Li) in that match in Sydney,” she said. “Again she played incredibly well and probably the best that I’ve ever played against her, so it will be tough.

“But after yesterday’s match, I’m going to go out and try to do the same and fight for each shot, and then we’ll see.”

With plans for a more settled life with her family and away from the tour on the horizon, Clijsters added that she was delighted to be in with a shot at her first title on the hard courts of Melbourne after three major success on the similar surface in New York.

“I know this is probably going to be my last full season on the tour, and then we’ll see,” said Clijsters, who lost the 2004 final to Justine Henin. “You know, it’s nice that I’m in this spot to reach the final, to play for the title.

“I think it’s something that is a great feeling to have, knowing that I’m not going to be able to come here for five more years. It’s nice to give myself the opportunity to play a big match to compete for the title.”

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