Despite breaking the Belgian at the beginning of the match, Li had to come from behind after Clijsters broke back to take a two-game lead. While the former world number one went down with an ankle problem at 3-3, she was able to return.
However, after holding her serve, Clijsters couldn't stop the Chinese star from running off three consecutive games to win the set.
Clijsters was able to come back from a break down in the second set to take it to a tie-break, where Li raced out to a 6-2 lead. However, the fifth seed couldn't finish her off and the Belgian came back to win six points in a row and level the match score.
With her movement improving, Clijsters maintained her momentum in the final set to break twice and take a four-game lead. While Li was able to steal one break back, Clijsters held serve to see out the win.