- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2012

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (AP) - Kim Clijsters and Li Na won their matches in contrasting styles on Friday to set up a repeat of last year’s Australian Open final in the fourth round.

Defending champion Clijsters beat Daniela Hantuchova in straight sets. Li went through after Anabel Medina Garrigues twisted her ankle and tearfully retired while trailing 3-0.

Clijsters beat Li 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 at the 2011 Australian Open for her only title of the year. She later was sidelined by injuries.

“That was one of my favorite matches I’ve ever played. I won, so that helped,” she said. “Of all the Grand Slam finals I’ve played, that was the one with the highest standard.”

Li won the next Grand Slam she entered, lifting the French Open trophy to become the first Asian player to win a major singles title.

“Although she lost, I think it helped her to win the French Open,” Clijsters said.

Li agreed.

“After that match I was feeling I really can win the Grand Slam,” she said.

Clijsters takes a 5-2 career advantage into the match. Li said fans will witness similar styles.

“I think we play the same way, like play against a mirror,” she said.


TOUGH QUESTIONS: Jelena Jankovic is speaking from experience when she tells the media to lay off Caroline Wozniacki.

Jankovic will play top-ranked Wozniacki in the fourth round of the Australian Open in a meeting of players who held the No. 1 spot without winning a Grand Slam title.

The 26-year-old Serb, through to the fourth round in Melbourne for the first time since 2009, is relieved she doesn’t have to justify herself.

“I’m not in that situation right now, so I don’t have to deal with any of that,” said Jankovic, who reached the No. 1 ranking in August 2008 and held it for 18 weeks. “It’s kind of nice to be a little bit away from that and just really focus on my tennis, on my game, and don’t really have to answer those questions every day from you guys.”

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