Li's loss ended her outstanding run, having become the first Asian player to reach a Grand Slam singles final. Hailed as a hero back in China, she has been given blanket media coverage, but she complained that enthusiastic Chinese spectators among the 15,000 at the Rod Laver Arena did not help her cause.
She was so frustrated after being broken in the second set that she appealed to the umpire to ask her vocal fans to keep quiet. She also complained about the flash from cameras.
'The (Chinese) fans, they wanted me to win this match, but they coached me how to play tennis on the court,' the 28-year-old said. 'They can talk, but not during the point, you know. Maybe they were excited.'
The 27-year-old Clijsters, who claimed her fourth Grand Slam win (she has three US Open titles) welcomed the rise of Asia on the world tennis scene.
[So it will be when more Chinese are on the world stage that the Chinese audience will learn that there is enthusiastic support and there is rowdy support and there is "support" that is inappropriate. And then maybe they will learn how to turn off their camera's flash. For now, many of them behave like a kid in a candy store. Somehow, a "bull in a China shop" sounds like a bad pun.]