Defending Aussie Open champion Kim Clijsters had never lost a tiebreaker at the Grand Slam down under. And she wasn't about to start.
Fighting off four match points, Clijsters won a second set tiebreaker 8-6.
No. 11 Kim Clijsters defeated No. 5 Li Na, 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4.
Only one game into the second set, ESPN2 commentators were counting a Kim Clijsters-comeback out.
Clijsters had rolled her left ankle in the first set after she hit an open forehand from the ad side of the court. Clijsters received three minutes of medical treatment to tape the ankle.
Clijsters didn't collapse though. She went shot-for-shot with Na in most points, missing more long and wide than in the net.
With Li leading 3-1, they said she didn't see a comeback happening. It was a sad realization that if Clijsters didn't make a comeback, it will likely be her last Australian Open.
Clijsters does have an almost-4-year-old at home.
Until Clijsters tied it at 3-3 in the second. Then, the next 10 minutes were "crucial."
Clijsters and Na continued to hit blazing shots, continuing with a sweetly-placed lob by Clijsters to stay in the second set. Clijsters capitalized on those crucial ten minutes.
The third set saw Clijsters blast to a 5-1 lead. Na broke back to bring the match to 5-4 in Clijsters favor. Clijsters held on for one last service game to win the third set with on the second match point when Na hit a backhand in the net.
The defending champion will face the winner of No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and No. 13 Jelena Jankovic in the quarterfinal round.