Chinese fans were ready to cheer their new national hero, Li Na, in the Australian Open final.
Kim Clijsters served to Li as the final got underway. Clijsters came out firing for a 2-0 lead.
Li regrouped after losing her opening service game and collected the opening set of the final.
Clijsters was down 63 32 but began mixing up her strategy and fought back to push it to a third.
Li's forehand had been the shot of the tournament but it wasn't enough to get her past Clijsters.
On a wide forehand from Li's side, Clijsters clinched her first Australian Open title, 36 63 63.
Li, the No.9 seed, met No.3 seed Clijsters after Clijsters took a 5-2 lead in their head-to-head.
Li will rise to No.7, the second-highest ranking ever for an Asian after Kimiko Date-Krumm's No.4.
Li, Asia's first Grand Slam finalist, delighted the Aussie crowd with her brand of straight talk.
It was the first Grand Slam final between married women in over 30 years, since Wimbledon in 1980.
Clijsters won her fourth career Grand Slam title, after US Open triumphs in 2005, 2009 and 2010.
Clijsters will rise to No.2, the highest ranking of her comeback. She is a former No.1 on the WTA.
Li, who upset No.1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals, met the press in good spirits.
Clijsters has now won 14 Grand Slam matches in a row, seven at the US Open and seven in Melbourne.
Clijsters' fierce Melbourne fortnight leaves her as the one to beat at the Grand Slams in 2011.