It was an epic smash shot from Li Na as she cruised to victory against 19-year-old Canadian tennis star, Eugenie Bouchard, during the Australian Open semi-final, winning 6-2, 6-4 yesterday.
Li’s victory was not unforseen, with the 31-year-old fourth seed previously showing her pedigree in the Australian Open, finishing as a runner-up in both 2011 and 2013. In contrast young Bouchard was by far an inexperienced player and had never made it through to the third round of a slam before; if Saturday wasn’t Bouchard’s day, her assured performance in this tournament says it surely will be soon enough.
Li sped to an easy lead of 5-0 during the first-set, in just 14 minutes, and the stage looked all set for a whitewash. But teenage Bouchard put up a fight and pushed Li has far as she could. “There is never an easy match in a Grand Slam. Of course I was nervous. It doesn’t matter how many semis you play. If you play semis, you are still nervous because it is the semis.” said Li.
Li Na will compete for the Australian Open title in a final match against Slovakia’s pride Dominika Cibulkova, who gained a semi-final victory against Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska with the score finishing 6-1, 6-2 and marking her first Grand Slam final. Li goes into the final a strong favorite as fourth seed, with a wealth of experience in the competition. However, Cibulkova (seeded 20th) has pulled off a string of stunning victories in the tournament and will be hoping to cause an upset.
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