Melbourne, Australia, Jan 21: Kim Clijsters and Li Na won their matches in contrasting circumstances 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 in an absorbing final in 2011 for her only title of the year.
"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."
Far from allowing the disappointment to get her down, Li seemed inspired. She 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.
"After that match I was feeling I really can win the Grand Slam," she said.
Clijsters takes a 5-2 head-to-head advantage into the match. Li warned fans not to expect a contrast in styles.
"I think we play the same way, like play against a mirror," she said.