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Tennis: Li runs over Pennetta to set up semi-final clash with Bouchard

Li Na sped to an impressive 6-2, 6-2 defeat of Flavia Pennetta to reach her fourth Australian Open semi-final in five years. Photo: AFP.

Li Na raced to a 6-2, 6-2 defeat of Flavia Pennetta to reach her fourth Australian Open semi-final in five years. Photo: AFP.

January 21, 2014: Li Na reached her fourth Australian Open semi-final in five years by dismissing Flavia Pennetta 6-2, 6-2 on Tuesday in a clinical and efficient display of accuracy and court craft.

 

Li, 31, will next play Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard, who beat former World No. 1 Ana Ivanovic 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final.

 

Li has gone from strength to strength since being on the verge of defeat against Lucie Safarova in the third round. The World No. 4 saved a match point that day and the lift that gave her has carried her through to the last four for the loss of just six games.

 

The Chinese superstar barely put a foot wrong against Pennetta. A day younger than her Italian opponent, Li won almost twice as many points and was in charge from the first ball till last.

 

“I got a lot of confidence because of being match point down against Safarova,” Li said. “Finally I came back to win that match and so of course I got a lot of confidence and belief in myself.”

 

Li is attempting to reach her third final at Rod Laver Arena and the only blot on Tuesday’s performance was dropping serve as she went to close out the first set, although she was 5-0 up at the time and never in any danger.

 

“I think everyone wants to win a Grand Slam, but first you have to be in the semis,” said Li. “I think I prepared one-and-a-half days for this match. I knew she was a tough opponent because I played her four times and every time was tough. I don’t know what happened today. Maybe I just played so well or maybe because I prepared for the match before I came to the court.”

 

On Tuesday, the impressive run of India’s Sania Mirza and Zimbabwe’s Cara Black in the women’s doubles ended in the quarter-finals at the hands of top-seeded Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, who won 6-2 3-6 6-4.

 

Australian Open, Melbourne; Results – January 21, 2014

 

Men’s Singles – Quarter-finals

[8] Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) d. [2] Novak Djokovic (SRB) 26 64 62 36 97

[7] Tomas Berdych (CZE) d. [3] David Ferrer (ESP) 61 64 26 64

 

Men’s Doubles – Quarter-finals

[8] Daniel Nestor (CAN)/Nenad Zimonjic (SRB) d. Alex Bolt (AUS)/Andrew Whittington (AUS) 62 76(1)

Eric Butorac (USA)/Raven Klaasen (RSA) d. [12] Treat Huey (PHI)/Dominic Inglot (GBR) 67(3) 76(6) 64

 

Women’s Singles – Quarter-finals


(4) Li Na (CHN) d. (28) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 62 62

(30) Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) d. (14) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 57 75 62

 

Women’s Doubles – Quarter-finals


(1) Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA) d. (6) Black/Mirza (IND/IND) 62 36 64

(3) Makarova/Vesnina (RUS/RUS) d. (7) Hlavackova/Safarova (CZE/CZE) 62 26 76(4)

(4) Peschke/Srebotnik (CZE/SLO) d. Gajdosova/Tomljanovic (AUS/CRO) 75 46 64

(8) Kops-Jones/Spears (USA/USA) d. Cornet/Garcia (FRA/FRA) 46 64 64

 

Source: AusOpen.com; Results: ATP, WTA

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