By Megan Fernandez
MASON, Ohio – The Li Na-Venus Williams clash lived up to its billing as the “oldest” semifinal match-up on the WTA Sony Ericsson Tour this season when a sore back entered the picture. Williams, 32, received a massage on court with Li, 30, leading by a set and a break. The treatment helped enough for Venus to come back and send the match to a third set, but as her serve slowed to 64 mph, Li pulled ahead and sealed a 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 victory.
Williams visibly winced and touched her lower back throughout the match. The pain popped up today, surprising Williams, and it hasn’t been diagnosed. Like Juan Martin del Potro, who struggled with a wrist injury in the first men’s semi-final earlier today, she played on valiantly for dignity’s sake, if nothing else. “I like to live life with no regrets,” she said. “I don’t want to look back and feel like I gave up. That’s not me. I wanted to go to the very end and at least know that maybe I missed some shots or maybe I wasn’t feelin