Daphne Akhurst def. Louis Bickerton, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2
Daphne Akhurst def. Esna Boyd, 7-5, 6-2
Esna Boyd def. Sylvia Harper, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2
Daphne Akhurst def. Esna Boyd, 6-1, 6-3
Daphne Akhurst def. Esna Boyd, 1-6, 8-6, 6-4
Sylvia Lance def. Esna Boyd, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
Margaret Molesworth def. Esna Boyd, 6-1, 7-5
Margaret Molesworth def. Esna Boyd, 6-3, 10-8
After winning the 2010 U.S. Open, the final Grand Slam of that year, Kim Clijsters opened the 2011 season in impressive fashion, capturing her first Australian Open title, defeating Li Na in three sets. Clijsters had reached the Down Under championship finals once before, losing to Justine Henin in three sets back in 2004.
Prior to 2011, Clijsters' Aussie Open mark was hardly impressive, as she owned a 31-8 mark and losing in the third round in 2010. The third-seeded Belgian rallied to post a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over the ninth-seeded Li, who lost for the first time in 12 matches in 2011 and had beaten Clijsters two weeks prior in the Sydney final.
Clijsters lost only one set during the championship, as she won her fourth major title -- the previous three all coming at the U.S. Open (2005, 2009-10) -- in her eighth Grand Slam final.
The 2011 Australian Open was without one key component, its two-time defending champion, Serena Williams, who withdrew due to a foot injury. Serena is in the field this week, but seeded 12th, while her sister Venus is missing the championship due to Sjogren's syndrome.
Serena Williams is the most dominant title-holder "Down Under" in recent years, winning five of the last nine championships.
In 2010, Serena knocked off Justine Henin in three sets to become the first back-to-back champion since Jennifer Capriati in 2001-02. In doing so, Serena captured this championship for the fifth time. In addition, Serena and Venus completed a sweep, as they defended their doubles title.
A winner of four of the last seven Australian Opens, Serena defeated Henin, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 and improved her all-time Aussie Open mark to 51-6. Tied at 2-2 in the final set, Serena captured the final four games to become the first top seed to win since 2004, when Henin defeated Kim Clijsters. The match was a tight one until the latter stages, and Williams finished it with a total of 12 aces, while Henin double-faulted six times. Serena had 37 unforced errors, five more than her opponent.
In 2009, Serena cruised past Dinara Safina, 6-0, 6-3, for her 10th of 13 career major singles championships. The win, one of the most lopsided in Australian Open history, took only 59 minutes and occurred just a day after she and sister Venus took home the women's doubles title.
Margaret Court was an 11-time winner of this event. Court won a total of 22 times at the Australian Open (11 singles, 8 doubles, 3 mixed titles). The draw consists of 128 players (108 Direct, 12 Qualifiers and up to eight wildcards). Chris O'Neil and Serena are the only players in women's Australian Open history to win this event as non-seeds.
Australian women have won this event 43 times, followed by the United States (22), Germany (4), Great Britain, Switzerland and Yugoslavia (3), the Czech Republic, Belgium and France (2), and Russia (1). Australian Open women's singles champions are awarded the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Trophy, named after Akhurst -- a five-time winner of the event in the 1920s. Aged 16 years and three months (in 1997), Martina Hingis became the Australian Open's youngest female singles champion when she won the title.
Tenth-ranked German Andrea Petkovic, who quietly reached the quarterfinals at three of the four majors last year, pulled out of the Aussie Open because of a back injury.