Kim Clijsters won the Australian Open Saturday to claim her fourth Grand Slam title, with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over China's Li Na, and then fulfilled a promise by publicly thanking the local dentist who mended her chipped tooth a few weeks ago.
The Belgian dropped the first set but reversed the tide against inspired Li ahead of the February 3 Chinese New Year.
Clijsters, her husband and player box watching a giggling post-match performance, took special pains to single out the unidentified dentist who fixed the tooth she chipped at an airport. "The dentist in Melbourne fixed me up so fast and quickly. I promised I'd thank him if I got to the final," said the three-time US Open champion who claimed her fourth major title from eight finals after losing her first four.
Clijsters, 27, also singled out her uncle, whose pea-green pair of pants also brought her luck in the year-end final last October in Doha.
"I told him if he came back to a tournament he had to wear those pants, they brought me good luck," said the Belgian, who added: "I finally feel that you can call me 'Aussie Kim' since I've now won the title here."
"I'm still shaky," she admitted. "I've played so much against Li, we've had some tough battles. I hope we meet again in a coupe of Grand Slam finals."
The win in two hours, five minutes also denied the 28-year-old Li a place in history after she became the first from her country to win a WTA title in 2004 and first to a Top 20 and then a Top 10 ranking.
The Asian won the first set in 40 minutes but could not withstand the comeback from Clijsters, who finished with 22 winners and breaks on seven of 17 chances.