(January 21, 2014) World No. 4 Li Na has moved into her fourth Australian Open semifinal in the last five years by crushing Flavia Pennetta 6-2, 6-2 on Tuesday in Melbourne.
After dismissing the two youngest competitors in the opening rounds of Melbourne, Li escaped the third round by saving a match point against Lucie Safarova.
“After saving the match point, I think I got a lot of confidence,” Li said in her on-court interview after the 67-minute match. “Even more belief in myself.”
Li jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first set, but the 28th seeded Pennetta saved herself from being shut out of the set by taking the next two games in the 35 minute set.
Li jumped out to 4-0 lead in the second set and a succession of forehand errors gave the Italian her first game of the second set on a break of serve.
Two-time Australian Open finalist Li will play the winner of the quarterfinal between Ana Ivanovic and Eugenie Bouchard. Li lost to Victoria Azarenka in the 2013 final and to Kim Clijste...