Australian Open final: Li Na comes on strong to beat Dominika Cibulkova at Melbourne Park
Last Updated: 25/01/14 2:46pm
Li Na: popular winner in Melbourne
Li Na claimed her second Grand Slam title with a 7-6 (7/3) 6-0 win over Dominika Cibulkova in the Australian Open final.
The Chinese player had twice previously lost in the final at Melbourne Park, in 2011 and 2013, but survived a tough first set against Cibulkova and then pulled away to victory in an hour and 37 minutes.
Cibulkova, appearing in her maiden major final, double faulted to hand Li a break in the first game but quickly composed herself.
The Slovakian broke back for 3-3 - helped by a pair of double faults - before faltering again on her own delivery in the 11th game to hand Li the chance to serve for the set.
But the fourth seed failed to take two set points and was promptly broken back, meaning a tie-break was required.
"To Max my agent, you made me very rich. Thanks a lot."
Li dominated it, moving 5-1 up and eventually closing it out 7-3 and then went on to dominate a second set lasting just 27 minutes, reeling off six games in a row to add the Australian Open crown to her French Open title from 2011.
Li, who had to save a match point in her third-round clash with Lucie Safarova, was presented with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup by Chris Evert.
She said: "Last two times was very close. I'm so happy I won the title here and I cannot wait to come back."
The 31-year-old is well known for her sense of a humour and in a terrific on-court speech she also thanked her agent Max Eisenbud for "making me rich" and told husband Jiang Shan he was lucky to have found her.
Cibulkova struggled to hold back tears as she said: "This is the most fantastic two weeks of my life. This means a lot for our country and I'm happy I can be the one here representing Slovakia."