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Li Na reaches Australian Open final

Li Na moved into her third Australian Open final where she will face Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova.

Last updated: 23 Jan 2014 11:31
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Li Na made it to the Australian Open final in 2013 and 2011, losing both [Reuters]

Li Na has her third, and probably best, chance to win the Australian Open after advancing to the final with a 6-2, 6-4 win over 19-year-old Canadian Eugenie Bouchard.

Na will face 20th-seed Dominika Cibulkova in the final after the Slovakian defeated fifth-seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-2 in the other semi-final.

Fourth-seeded Li, the 2011 French Open champion, is the only major winner and the highest-ranked player still in contention after the fourth-round upsets of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova and defending champion Victoria Azarenka's quarter-final loss to Agnieszka Radwanska.

Li lost last year's Australian Open final to Azarenka, after falling over and hitting her head twice on the court.

She lost the 2011 decider to Kim Clijsters, her first appearance in a Grand Slam final, and recovered from that loss to win her one and only major at Roland Garros.

Tough match

"Last time was a little bit tough, I'll try this time to make one more step,'' Li said. ``Tough match of course in the final. I think for sure both will try fight on the court because it's one more step to take the trophy.''

Li considered quitting the tour after the French Open last year, when she was beaten in the second round and was struggling with the off-court pressure.

After reaching the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, the Chinese star opted against retiring and then reached the US Open semi-finals.

The Canadian teenager was playing only her fourth Grand Slam tournament, and became just the second player from her country to reach a major semifinal.

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Source:
AP
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