AO Gallery: Prime Time Down Under
Li Na and Dominika Cibulkova put on a brilliant display of tennis on Rod Laver Arena on Saturday night, but there could only be one winner. See all the best pics from the prime time final right here.
Published January 25, 2014 12:10
A packed stadium looked on as the 2014 Australian Open final took Rod Laver Arena on Saturday night.
On the left, 2011 French Open champion Li Na - on the right, Grand Slam hopeful Dominika Cibulkova.
Li drew first blood, going up 3-1 in the first set - but Cibulkova would push the set to a tie-break.
It was to no avail, as Li opened the breaker with back-to-back winners and ended up taking it, 7-3.
Li kept growing in confidence and began piling on the games in the second set, one after another.
The No.4-seeded Li never went to deuce in the second set to beat the No.20-seeded Cibulkova, 76(3) 60.
Li and Cibulkova have always played tough matches, but the Chinese improved to 5-0 in their series.
Li ran over to her player box and rejoiced with - among others - her star coach, Carlos Rodriguez.
Cibulkova was up on the podium first for her acceptance speech and smiled through a few tears.
Chris Evert, a two-time Australian Open champion, presented the trophy to new Aussie Open champ Li.
And just like her two previous runner-up speeches, Li won the crowd over with her sense of humor.
Li is now a two-time Grand Slam champion, and just a handful of points away from the No.2 ranking.