After a all-a-quiver aboriginal set, three-time US Open-winner Clijsters fought her way aback in a blood-tingling final in advanced of 15,000 admirers at Rod Laver Arena, including a articulate Chinese contingent.
"I assuredly feel like you guys can alarm me 'Aussie Kim' because I won the title," Clijsters told her Australian fans, who gave her the appellation aback she was affianced to Lleyton Hewitt.
The 27-year-old Clijsters claimed her fourth Grand Slam title, and her third aback catastrophe a continued career breach to accord bearing to her daughter, Jada. She is now because ascent aback her agenda again.
Clijsters went into the clash as the close favourite but was fabricated to action all the way by Li, who was acquisitive to complete her own fairytale by acceptable the aboriginal Chinese - or Asian - amateur to win a Grand Slam.
"Li and I accept played some amazing matches over a cardinal of years - she's a boxy competitor," Clijsters said. "It's been a abundant accomplishment for her these allotment two weeks and I achievement we can comedy abounding added Grand Slam finals in the future."
Li had been on the advanced awning of abounding of China's above newspapers as the world's best crawling nation looked to the 28-year-old from Wuhan to actualize a allotment of tennis history.
But admitting attractive the acceptable champ in the aboriginal set, Li achromatic in the third and became more agitated as the bout slipped away, accusatory about comments and beam photography from the crowd.
"Tell the Chinese (fans), don't advise me how to comedy tennis," she fumed to the armchair umpire, afterwards actuality burst in the additional set.
Clijsters had opened in accomplished appearance as she won the aboriginal eight credibility of the match, but already Li acclimatized bottomward and begin her ambit with her ascendant groundstokes, and her forehand in particular, she steadily took control.
She bankrupt Clijsters three times in the aboriginal set as she again affected her adversary assimilate the arresting with the ability and accurateness of her shots.
"I approved to serve a bit better, apathetic it bottomward and put circuit on it, and I approved to bend a few balls," Clijsters said. "She absent some of them and I saw that fabricated her nervous."
Meanwhile Li, 28, was annoyed with acceptable the aboriginal amateur from China to ability a above singles final, which fabricated her an brief superstar and saw her compared to idolised basketball amateur Yao Ming and hurdler Liu Xiang.
"It doesn't amount if I won or absent today," Li said. "I played my best tennis."
Li, whose tales of her husband's comatose and her arcade sprees accept captivated admirers in Australia, additionally accomplished aftermost year's Australian Open semi-final afore actuality baffled by closing champ Serena Williams.
She is projected to ability a career-high apple cardinal seven in abutting week's rankings, while Clijsters will acceleration to additional abaft Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki.