Li makes it to final of Australian OpenMELBOURNE, Australia - Li Na has advanced to her third Australian Open final and will have to beat Dominika Cibulkova to win her first title at Melbourne Park.
No. 4-seeded Li won the first give games to set up a 6-2, 6-4 win over Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, 19, in the first semifinal yesterday before the No. 20-seeded Cibulkova trounced 2012 Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-1, 6-2.
Li, the 2011 French Open champion, was the only major winner in the semis after the fourth-round upsets of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova and defending champion Victoria Azarenka’s quarterfinal loss to Radwanska.
Cibulkova has been the biggest surprise of the tournament. The diminutive Slovakian has won all but one of her matches in straight sets - her win over Maria Sharapova went to three.
She completed three of those wins in an hour or less, including her 6-3, 6-0 quarterfinal victory over No. 11 Simona Halep.
But even Cibulkova was stunned that her first win in a Grand Slam semifinal took only 1 hour, 10 minutes. After Radwanska held in the third game, Cibulkova won the next eight in a dominating roll.