Australian Open 2013: Li Na beat Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5, 6-3

No problems for Li as she ends Radwanska's winning run to secure semi-final spot

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

02:24 GMT, 22 January 2013

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UPDATED:

03:03 GMT, 22 January 2013

Li Na made it through to her third Australian Open semi-final today after halting Agnieszka Radwanska's blistering start to 2013.

Radwanska came into the match having won 13 straight matches, a run which included title wins in Auckland and Sydney, but she had no answer to Li's all-or-nothing game.

The Chinese won 7-5 6-3 despite making 40 unforced errors to advance to a last-four clash with either Maria Sharapova or Ekaterina Makarova.

Into the semis: China's Li Na celebrates after defeating Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in their quarter-final

Into the semis: China's Li Na celebrates after defeating Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in their quarter-final

Centre of attention: Radwanska and Li play out their quarter-final match on the Rod Laver Arena

Centre of attention: Radwanska and Li play out their quarter-final match on the Rod Laver Arena

End of the road: Agnieszka Radwanska could not continue her winning run at the start of 2013

End of the road: Agnieszka Radwanska could not continue her winning run at the start of 2013

In a game of contrasting styles, Radwanska started well with her consistency gaining her the upper hand.

She made Li come through a 12-minute opening game to hold but serving was to prove a disadvantage as there were four consecutive breaks before Li finally stood firm to lead 4-3.

Radwanska edged ahead once more after winning a 26-point rally on break point to move 5-4 up.
She could not consolidate it though as Li promptly hit before claiming a 6-5 lead.

Determined: Li returns a shot to Radwanska during her win over the Pole

Determined: Li returns a shot to Radwanska during her win over the Pole

Li Na

Agnieszka Radwanska

Mixed emotions: Li celebrates as Radwanska looks dejected

Not enough: Radwanska lost in straight sets as she could find no answers to Li

Not enough: Radwanska lost in straight sets as she could find no answers to Li

And the sixth seed, the runner-up here two years ago, took the opening set after the best point of the match, both players moving their opponent around the court before Radwanska was pushed into a corner and failed to return a Li smash.

Radwanska, who has now failed to get past the last eight in Melbourne having reached this stage four times, looked like she was mounting a comeback when she established a 2-0 lead in the second.
But Li simply ramped up her game, going for even more from the baseline.

Respect: Li and Radwanska shake hands after the match

Respect: Li and Radwanska shake hands after the match

And having it got back on serve, she seized the initiative further by going on a nine-point run which helped her to take a 5-2 lead – despite one serve bizarrely flying over Radwanska's head on the full and straight into the stand.

Radwanska held to make Li serve it out and, despite a few wobbles, she came through in one hour and 42 minutes.