MELBOURNE, Australia -- With a quick wave and a smile, Kim Clijsters walked out of Rod Laver Arena for probably the last time in her professional career on Thursday, leaving behind a crowd that has come to view her as their own. . Clijsters, who plans to retire at the end of the season, was adopted by Australian fans when she began dating Lleyton Hewitt in 2000 and the affection didnt wear off after the couple split in 2004. Playing on the Australia Day national holiday, Clijsters every winner was raucously cheered against Victoria Azarenka, but the Belarusian maintained her composure to win a seesaw semifinal 6-4, 1-6, 6-3. One of the biggest cheers came when Clijsters walked off court and disappeared from view. The Belgian, though, has never been the sentimental type. "I mean, you dont think about it," she said of her emotions when leaving Rod Laver Arena. "The loss is too fresh I think to think about something else. So Im sure that will sink in in the next couple of days." By that time, she will back at her home in Belgium, where she lives with American husband Brian Lynch, a retired basketball player, and their 3-year-old daughter Jada. Lynch sat nervously courtside on Thursday to watch an absorbing semifinal, one of the best womens matches of the tournament so far. "Im sure I lost a few days of my life in that box but it was all worth it. Wifey is a true champ!" he tweeted afterward. Spending more time with her husband and daughter is one of Clijsters priorities after she ends her career, but she says she isnt in a hurry to leave tennis behind. "I enjoy being at home. But I still enjoy playing tennis very much. I enjoy the challenge," she said. "Im lucky enough that Im capable of being in this position where Jada and my husband, theyre capable of travelling with me, because otherwise it would be too hard to do that. "Tennis has given me so many great memories and emotional rollercoasters. I dont think you can experience that again in any other thing in life, maybe except giving birth." Clijsters has already retired once -- in 2007 -- but was tempted back in 2009 and has since won three Grand Slam titles. She won the Australian Open a year ago but the remainder of the season was marred by shoulder, wrist and abdominal injuries. A twisted ankle almost curtailed the defence of her title here. Playing Li Na in the fourth round, she stumbled and turned her left ankle midway through the first set and needed immediate treatment. As her opponent struggled with nerves, a hobbling Clijsters somehow came from four match points down to win in three sets. She had considered quitting, but didnt want to retire from her last match at the Australian Open. It was that sort of fighting spirit that endeared her to the sport-loving Australian public and it was in evidence again against the 22-year-old Azarenka. Scampering from side to side, retrieving balls that most players would not have got close to let alone returned, Clijsters didnt seem at all bothered by her ankle. Several times, she almost did the splits as she stretched out wide to force her opponent to play one more ball. Trailing 4-2 in the deciding set, Clijsters recovered from 40-0 down on her opponents serve, saved another three game points and broke back -- to elicit what must have been one of the loudest cheers of the fortnight. "She made me run so much, I felt like I was running like a marathon out there," Azarenka said. It wasnt enough. Azarenka broke straight back and served out the win to reach her first Grand Slam final. "Its unfortunate when you get so close," Clijsters said. "I know Im capable of beating all these girls, but its whoevers better on the day wins and gets to go through. "But I could have been home already two days ago. I feel that I really gave it 200 per cent, so in that way I really dont feel like I could have done anything differently these last two weeks." Clijsters didnt reflect on her loss for long before looking ahead to her next target: the French Open, where she was the beaten finalist in 2001 and 2003. "It is a challenge," she said. "Its one of the goals that I have this season, to give myself a really good preparation on the clay courts and try to be close to my best level when I get to the French Open." . On July 27 cyclings best-known race will host "La Course by Le Tour de France" -- a one-day womens competition staged hours before Tour riders race on the same circuit to finish the three-week event on Paris Champs-Elysees. . -- Decked out in Angels gear from head to toe, Albert Pujols looked like the same slugger whose swing in St. .Navas says on his website I feel outraged, my privacy and that of my family have been violated. ... I have asked my lawyers in Costa Rica to take the necessary legal action.Costa Ricas Judicial Investigation Department revealed on Wednesday that 24 of its own agents were being investigated for using an information platform to access information about Navas.CHICAGO -- Had he known he was going to play so poorly, Derrick Rose might have sat this one out. Good thing for him, his Chicago teammates picked up the slack. C.J. Watson scored 16 points, including the game-tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation, and the Chicago Bulls pulled away in overtime to beat the Miami Heat 96-86 on Thursday night. Carlos Boozer scored 19 points and Kyle Korver added 17 for the Bulls, who outscored Miami 12-2 in overtime to boost their lead in the Eastern Conference to four games. The Bulls were able to pull off the victory despite a horrible shooting night by Derrick Rose, who scored a career-low two points. "If Id have seen this coming, I wouldnt have played," he said. "Thought I was going to come out, do all right." At least his team did just fine. LeBron James scored 30 points for Miami but missed a free throw that would have made it a two-possession game late in regulation. Dwyane Wade added 21 points, Chris Bosh scored 20, but the Heat lost for the sixth time in 11 games. "This is one of the worst feelings in the regular season Ive had this year," James said. Things were looking good for Miami when James nailed a 3 that made it 83-81 with 49 seconds left in regulation. But with a chance to seal the game, he missed the first of two free throws with 11.4 seconds remaining. That kept the Bulls in it and Watson made a 3 to tie it at 84 with 2.2 seconds left. The game went into overtime when Wade missed a baseline jumper at the buzzer. Deng started the extra period with a jumper. Taj Gibson dunked on Ronny Turiaf for a three-point play and scored on a neat spin move after Wade hit a free throw, making it 91-85, sending the Bulls to a dramatic win on a night when their superstar had perhaps his worst game as a pro. "Im not worried about my stats or anything," Rose said. "Can I make up excuses? Yeah. But you know me, Im not going to use no excuse. My shots werent falling. Shots I normally hit, I wasnt hittting. . My teammates had my back. Im happy I have them on my team." Rose hit just 1 of 13 shots and sat out the extra period, a brutal night for the reigning MVP. Then again, he hasnt played much lately, so this wasnt a total shocker. He returned from a 12-game absence due to a groin injury for Sundays overtime loss at New York, only to sprain his right ankle. He did not play Tuesday, when the Bulls beat the Knicks at home, and hes missed 23 games in all this season. "Hes going to be a little rusty," Korver said. "I dont care who you are, youre going to be a little rusty." But even with Rose struggling, the Bulls managed to pull this one out. Luol Deng scored 16. Boozer grabbed 11 rebounds and fed Watson for that tying 3. Korver came up big again, hitting 5 of 6 from beyond the arc after scoring 14 on Tuesday. He let out a big smile after nailing one in the extra period and helped the Bulls and helped send this one into overtime with eight points in the fourth quarter. His 3-pointer and jumper put Chicago ahead 78-74 with about 3:30 left, and after Wade scored, Boozer nailed a jumper and Ronnie Brewer hit a free throw to put the Bulls lead at 5. Wade, however, kept Miami in it. He scored on a drive and a jumper to make it a one-point game, and Bosh came up with a key rebound off a miss by Wade, feeding James for the 3 that made it 83-81. But things unraveled for the Heat, particularly when Watson hit the 3 to force OT. "I looked up and saw CJ wide open when Boozer caught it," Wade said. "I didnt know what was going on. I tried to get over there and make a play on it. He still made a tough shot. That play hurt. We never recovered back from that shot." Notes: Wade tied Alonzo Mournings franchise record for games played at 593. ... Heat coach Erik Spoelstra made a late switch and decided to have Udonis Haslem, battling stomach flu, start at centre instead of Ronny Turiaf. ... The Bulls and Heat meet one more time at Miami on April 19. ' ' '