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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.

Australian Open 2013: Ekaterina Makarova beats Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-4

More Melbourne magic from Makarova as she dumps out fifth seed Kerber

By
Jon Fisher, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

03:30 GMT, 20 January 2013

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UPDATED:

03:30 GMT, 20 January 2013

Ekaterina Makarova's love affair with Melbourne continued today as she made it through to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open with an impressive defeat of fifth seed Angelique Kerber.

Makarova's best run at a grand slam came here 12 months ago when she reached the last eight with a stunning upset of Serena Williams.

And she matched that achievement by playing the role of giantkiller once again on Rod Laver Arena, knocking out the German 7-5 6-4.

She's done it! Russia's Ekaterina Makarova celebrates after beating Germany's Angelique Kerber

She's done it! Russia's Ekaterina Makarova celebrates after beating Germany's Angelique Kerber

On top form: Makarova was at her best to see off Kerber in two sets

On top form: Makarova was at her best to see off Kerber in two sets

'It's an unbelievable feeling, I really like playing here,' the Russian said.

'I lost three times to Angelique last year, she is so good so I am very happy.'

Makarova went out to Maria Sharapova last year and the pair will clash again should the second seed beat Kirsten Flipkens later today.

Time for treatment: Kerber receives treatment during her defeat

Time for treatment: Kerber receives treatment during her defeat

Down and out: Kerber shows her emotion as she loses to Makarova

Down and out: Kerber shows her emotion as she loses to Makarova

'I hope I play Maria,' said Makarova. 'Last year I was surprised to reach that stage and I had so many thoughts in my mind. This year I will be ready to play a good game.'

Makarova was the more positive player throughout and held herself together after squandering a 5-2 first-set lead.

She broke for 6-5 and then served it out to edge ahead.

Kerber's chances of finding a route back into the contest were hampered by a back injury and a solitary break in the ninth game proved decisive.

Australian Open 2013: Victoria Azarenka wins first round

Azarenka not firing on all cylinders but world No 1 battles through opening test

By
Jon Fisher, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

04:01 GMT, 15 January 2013

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UPDATED:

04:37 GMT, 15 January 2013

Top seed Victoria Azarenka survived a second-set scare to see off Monica Niculescu in the first round of the Australian Open.

Having cruised through the opener Azarenka's game inexplicably came off the rails in the second before she reasserted her superiority to win 6-1 6-4.

It seemed plain sailing for the defending champion on Rod Laver Arena as she raced into a 4-0 lead, seemingly at ease with her own game and that of her opponent, whose quirky sliced forehand marks her out from the rest of the crowd in the women's game.

Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka

Defending champion: Victoria Azarenka survived a wobble in the second set to beat Monica Niculescu

A minor blip saw Niculescu break back but the Belarusian simply raised her level once again to take the first set in 31 minutes.

There appeared little chance of a Niculescu comeback but the Romanian surprised everyone inside Rod Laver Arena by swiftly establishing a 3-0 advantage. It almost became 4-0 but Azarenka clung grimly on to her serve by staving off two break points.

It proved a turning point as the world No 1, roared on by close friend Redfoo from the band LMFAO, hit back.

Watching brief: Stefan 'Redfoo' Gordy of LMFAO watches Azarenka and Niculescu in Melbourne

Watching brief: Stefan 'Redfoo' Gordy of LMFAO watches Azarenka and Niculescu in Melbourne

She drew level at 3-3, prompting a frustrated Niculescu to crack her racket into the court – an act which earned her a warning from the chair umpire.

Azarenka then broke again for 5-4 as Niculescu's challenge waned and she served it out to advance.

It was her first appearance on RLA since her thrashing of Maria Sharapova in last year's final and Azarenka admitted she was pleased to have avoided an embarrassing return.

Game over: In the end,, world No 1 Azarenka had too much in her locker for Niculescu

Game over: In the end,, world No 1 Azarenka had too much in her locker for Niculescu

Monica Niculescu

'It's great to be back, there were a lot of overwhelming emotions out there,' she said.

'I started really well but the second set was a struggle. I am pleased to get through.'

Azarenka had to pull out of the warm-up event in Brisbane due to an infected toe but she insists the injury is now behind her.

She added: 'I am running without pain and am just trying to focus on the next two weeks.'

Rafael Nadal pulls out of Australian Open

Aussie agony for Nadal as injury rules Spaniard out of first grand slam of 2013

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UPDATED:

15:43 GMT, 28 December 2012


Aussie ruled: Nadal has pulled out of the showpiece event

Aussie ruled: Nadal has pulled out of the showpiece event

World No 4 Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the Australian Open due to a stomach virus.

The Spaniard has not played since suffering his shock second-round exit at Wimbledon to unheralded Czech Lukas Rosol due to a knee injury.

He had been due to return at this week's exhibition event in Abu Dhabi but the virus forced him to withdraw.

And he has now decided to extend that absence to include the season's opening grand slam event in Melbourne.

Former world No 1 Nadal, a
winner of 11 grand slam titles, including one Down Under in 2009, told
the Australian Open's official website: 'I am sorry and very sad to
announce that I will not play in the Australian Open.

'My knee is coming along okay, but a
stomach virus has left me unable to get ready in time to tackle the
rigours of a grand slam.

'Because of the virus, I have been
unable to get any match practice and simply would not be doing myself or
my friends in Australia justice if I went down there so unprepared.

'You need your body to be at its best for the Australian Open.

'It was a difficult decision and I am extremely disappointed to be missing such a great event.

'I love coming to Melbourne and playing on Rod Laver Arena before the Australian crowds. It brings out the best in me.

'It
hurts to have to wait another 12 months before I get another chance. In
the meantime, the focus is now on desperately trying to get back on the
tour.'

Nadal has now targeted the Abierto
Mexicano Telcel event in Acapulco which starts on February 25 for his
comeback, although he remains optimistic of returning before that.

Wimble-done: Nadal hasn't featured since the defeat to Rosol

Wimble-done: Nadal hasn't featured since the defeat to Rosol

He added on Facebook: 'As my team and doctors say, the safest thing to do is to do things well and this virus has delayed my plans of playing these weeks.

'I will have to wait until the Acapulco tournament to compete again although I could consider to play before at any other ATP event.'

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said: 'It is completely understandable and we really feel disappointed for him.

'But without any match practice and without sufficient lead up time on the practice court, it makes it virtually impossible for him to get his body ready.

'We just hope he gets better quickly and we see him back on the tour as soon as possible.

'Tennis fans across the world have been missing him. Our Australian Open staff will very much miss him and his team as he is not only a great player, but also a great guy with good people around him.

'We wish Rafa all the best. I am confident we will see him back on the tour soon and back in Australia for 2014, no doubt as one of the contenders for the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup.'

Prior to the virus, Nadal had spoken of how he was intending to use the first few weeks of his comeback simply as a means of regaining full fitness.

However, his absence, while a blow to tournament organisers and his fans, will be a boost to the other members of the big four – Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

Wimbledon 2012: Andy Murray and Marin Cilic frustrated by rain

Murray under a cloud: As big guns rest up Andy could be Court out again

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UPDATED:

23:35 GMT, 2 July 2012

Predictably, the best place to be on Monday was on Centre Court, preferably under the roof, and the best place to be on Tuesday is safely through to the quarter-finals and resting up, as is the situation for Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

Most other people will have to take their chance with the weather, including Andy Murray, who now faces a minimum of four days’ play out of six if he is to achieve his Wimbledon dream.

At least he has been able to make a start on the job, progressing to 7-5, 3-1 and 40-0 against Croat Marin Cilic before this country’s apology for a summer put an early end to proceedings shortly after 4pm.

On top: Andy Murray was leading when his match with Marin Cilic was called off

On top: Andy Murray was leading when his match with Marin Cilic was called off

This afternoon he would like to enjoy the comfort of his prospective opponent in the next round — either David Ferrer or Juan Martin del Potro — who know they are guaranteed a result as they play under the roof at midday.

The Spaniard and Argentine were displeased at being called off early last night and made their feelings known to ATP officials before packing up and trudging home, but at least they appear to have achieved something by making their feelings known.

As for Murray, he might wish he was afforded the same treatment as Lleyton Hewitt at the Australian Open, who has not been off the main Rod Laver Arena since before 2001, a total of 37 consecutive matches.

The British No 1 will have to pick up where he left off after the 69 minutes that were possible against the 6ft 6in Croat, who will have been grateful for the respite after struggling on Monday.

Another go: Cilic and Murray will be first out on No 1 court

Another go: Cilic and Murray will be first out on No 1 court

We all know you need a few breaks to win a first Grand Slam and the 25-year-old will hope they come in the form of sufficient breaks in the cloud to allow him time to finish the job and set himself up for tomorrow’s task, which would surely see him restored to Wimbledon’s main arena.

It was unusual that last week Murray was not given his obligatory one appearance out on Court No 1 — which is a fair enough principle — and that could prove injurious to his title hopes in the event of major downpours in the next 24 hours.

On the evidence of yesterday, Cilic is there for the taking but a difference today could be that he will have shaken off more of the lingering stiffness from his Saturday marathon against Sam Querrey.

Going into a second day: Murray will hope to get the game wrapped up early on Tuesday

Going into a second day: Murray will hope to get the game wrapped up early on Tuesday

What Murray has to avoid is a repeat of the first two games when he was uptight and vulnerable to the flourishes of the 16th seed, whose forehand veers from being a deadly weapon to a scattergun.

The tell-tale sign of Murray’s discomfort — one we have barely seen to date in this tournament — was him clutching at his left hip twice after making a mistake, the reflex action that gives away to everyone, including his opponent, that he is not moving how he would like to.

Watching on: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears watches on

Watching on: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears watches on

Cilic is dangerous and arrived here having won at Queen’s Club. It is a small detail that he received the assistance of David Nalbandian’s near assault on a linesman in the final to lift the trophy — just to get there shows that he knows his way around a grass court. Luckily he gifted a break straight back with a series of sloppy errors, and that fortified Murray, although there was a close call at 4-4 when he created a break point, only for Murray to save it with an ace.

Sitting in the rain: Spectators shelter from the rain under umbrellas on 'Murray Mount'

Sitting in the rain: Spectators shelter from the rain under umbrellas on 'Murray Mount'

Slowly Murray, happy to assume his counter-punching role, sucked Cilic into his web and displayed his brilliant defensive capabilities by retrieving his opponent’s drives from deep behind the baseline.

At 6-5 up he broke to love to clinch the set, benefiting from a wide forehand on the last point and planting in Cilic’s mind the memory of his five defeats out of six against the world No 4. Murray broke again to go 3-1 up in the second set and there looked only one winner until the skies, threatening all day, started to weep.

The forecast had been worse so it was a case of being grateful for small mercies.

Among it all there are some good signs for the Scot here. Coach Ivan Lendl’s work on his serve looks to be paying a dividend, with him winning 56 per cent of points on his second delivery and landing his first one in two thirds of the time.

All this and more will be needed if he is to wade his way through what looks like some heavy going in the second week.

Novak Djokovic celebrates Australian Open 2012 win with AC/DC anthem

Djokovic celebrates electrifying Australian Open win… by belting out AC/DC classic

Unlike last year, when he beat his friend Andy Murray in straight sets
and then kicked off an all-night party with a rock band in the locker
room, Novak Djokovic admits he dispensed with the band and the raucous dressing room celebrations.

But, after the longest final ever in a Grand
Slam, it was only fitting that Djokovic put on a solo act. He chose the AC/DC rock anthem 'Highway To Hell', belting out a few lyrics and strumming the air guitar.

After a couple of hours sleep, Djokovic arrived at a customary post-victory photo shoot in a downtown Melbourne park, where he recalled the brief pre-dawn celebrations at Rod Laver Arena and made a half-hearted attempt to sing the refrain. His legs were too tired, and his throat a bit hoarse: 'Oh man, I'm tired.'

Water guy: Novak Djokovic raises the Australian Open trophy in front of the Royal Exhibition Buildings

Water guy: Novak Djokovic raises the Australian Open trophy in front of the Royal Exhibition Buildings

And so he should be. Djokovic completed a 5-hour, 53-minute 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-5 victory over Rafael Nadal at 1.37am – ending an epic match with a forehand winner that finally finished off the Spaniard.

He defied exhaustion to tear off his shirt and flex his bare torso as he made his way over to celebrate with his friends and family. He was still doing interviews after 4am. It didn't leave much time for celebrating.

'I didn't have any more energy left to celebrate,' Djokovic said on Monday. 'I was preferring my bed.'

Who's your friend: Djokovic adds a furry companion to the Norman Brooks Trophy

Who's your friend: Djokovic adds a furry companion to the Norman Brooks Trophy (above and below)

Who's your friend: Djokovic adds a furry companion to the Norman Brooks Trophy

When he awoke not long after, his body reminded him not just of the incredible events of the previous evening, nearly six hours of physically punishing tennis against one of the game's most ferociously competitive athletes, but also of a near five-hour semi-final two nights earlier against Murray.

'I felt lots of pain all over the body,' he said. 'The adrenalin is still there and I still am very excited about what I have experienced here in the last two weeks and especially last night. I'm full of joy, but I think still I don't have a real sense of what's going on.'

Djokovic wasn't the only one feeling a little dazed Monday. There were still 1.86million people watching in Australia until after 1.30am. The peak audience was 3.86million, approaching about one-fifth of the population. When the last ball was struck, hardly any of the almost 15,000 spectators in Rod Laver Arena had left.

National hero: The world No 1 signs an enthusiastic supporter's Serbia football kit

National hero: The world No 1 signs an enthusiastic supporter's Serbia football kit

An historic final provided a fitting climax to a men's tournament that also featured two riveting semi-finals between Nadal and world No 3 Roger Federer, and Djokovic and No 4 Murray.

Tournament director Craig Tiley, celebrating a record crowd attendance of 686,006 across the two weeks, described the final as 'the greatest match of all time'.

A day after celebrating her first Grand Slam title, even Victoria Azarenka came out to watch the men's final. The 22-year-old Belarusian needed 82 minutes – two minutes more than the first set lasted between Nadal and Djokovic – to rout Maria Sharapova and claim both the trophy and the No 1 ranking.

Great job: Tournament director Craig Tiley (left) congratulates the champion on his awesome victory

Great job: Tournament director Craig Tiley (left) congratulates the champion on his awesome victory

Djokovic's seventh straight win in a final over Nadal underlined his dominance of the men's game, which until last year had been headlined by Nadal and Federer. Nadal got closer to ending the Serb's recent stranglehold over him, but after being a break up in the fifth set, couldn't get over the line.

Despite a third straight loss in a Grand Slam final, Nadal leaves Melbourne more motivated than ever. Less than 24 hours before the tournament began, he was in tears, believing a freak knee injury he sustained while sitting on a chair would prevent him from competing in the tournament.

To end it having pushed his nemesis to the limit was more than enough consolation for the 10-time Grand Slam champion.

'I wanted to win, but I am happy about how I did,' he said. 'I had my chances against the best player of the world today. I played one against one.'

Sealed with a kiss: Djokovic is now turning his sights on winning the French Open

Sealed with a kiss: Djokovic is now turning his sights on winning the French Open

In the end, Djokovic's unshakable belief that began to develop when he won the Davis Cup with Serbia at the end of 2010, and strengthened when he went the first 41 matches of last season unbeaten, pulled him through.

Once the bridesmaid to Nadal and Federer, Djokovic understood exactly how his opponent felt.

'When I played three, four years ago against Rafa and Roger in Grand Slam semi-finals and finals, I felt that they were just superior on the court, that they had this mental advantage,' he said. 'Because they just know that when the time comes, when the match is breaking down, fifth set, they will always prevail, because they believe more, they have more experience and they know what to do.'

Now Djokovic is experiencing that unbeatable feeling. He is the fifth man in the Open Era to win three straight major titles, and already has the French Open – the one major to elude him – in his sights. He won't even rule out the ultimate: the Grand Slam.

Utter agony: Rafael Nadal suffered at the hands of his nemesis yet again in Melbourne

Utter agony: Rafael Nadal suffered at the hands of his nemesis yet again in Melbourne

'One player (Rod Laver) has done it, so it is possible,' he said. 'Obviously the times are different and tennis nowadays is much more competitive and much more physical. And that makes that challenge more difficult to achieve. But everything is possible.'

With the London Olympics to follow Wimbledon this year, Djokovic could even make it a Golden Slam by winning the gold medal at London 2012 to go with the annual four majors.

'The facts are that I'm at the peak of my career,' he said. 'I feel physically and mentally at the peak, I feel strong, I feel motivated, I feel eager to win more trophies.'

Novak's time: The final was the longest ever in grand slam history

Novak's time: The final was the longest ever in grand slam history

Victoria Azarenka is new world No 1

Shake up in the women's game as champion Azarenka replaces Wozniacki as world No 1

Some major musical chairs takes place at the top of the women's rankings, reflective of the state of flux that this side of tennis finds itself in.

After her humiliation of Maria Sharapova on Saturday in the Australian Open final, 22 year-old Victoria Azarenka becomes the 21st world No 1 since the computer sparked into action in 1975.

And for the first time there are four first-time Grand Slam winners in possession of the sport's major titles in women's tennis, another indication that we are likely to see a changing of eras by the end of 2012.

On top of the world: Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka is the new world No 1 while runner-up Maria Sharapova rises to No 3

On top of the world: Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka is the new world No 1 while runner-up Maria Sharapova rises to No 3

After three hours sleep and a night
on the tiles, Azarenka was still pumped enough on Sunday to declare that
“I'm so hungry for more titles,” and it would not be a surprise if she
were to add at least one more Slam this season.

She is at the right age and clearly
on an upward curve, but it would also need to be said that there has
been greater competition around at other junctures of the women's game's
history.

Sharapova, despite having her lack
of movement exposed in the course of a disappointing 6-3, 6-0 defeat,
actually goes up to No 3, Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova stays at two
while poor Caroline Wozniacki takes a rare old tumble, going down to No 4
from No 1.

Falling down: Caroline Wozniacki drops from World No 1 to No 4

Falling down: Caroline Wozniacki drops from World No 1 to No 4

With tickets for the final costing
upwards of 170 each it was hardly surprising that there were around
1500 empty seats on the Rod Laver Arena, even in sports-mad and wealthy
Melbourne, which may partly tell you of Australians' distaste for the
two players' grunting.

Beyond that thorny issue Azarenka
has a sunny personality and there is every chance that she will be the
one stepping in to the superstar gap that will surely open up in the
next two years as Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters fade away.

Clijsters has been reduced to world
No 30 by losing her title and will need to repair her ranking to avoid
meeting the best players too early in the three remaining Grand Slams
she plans to play in before retiring.

On the slide: The 2011 Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters has fallen to No 30 in the world

On the slide: The 2011 Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters has fallen to No 30 in the world

Australian Open 2012: Novak Djokovic faces Andy Murray in semis

Djokovic sets up Murray semi in Melbourne as top seed sees off Ferrer in straight sets

Novak Djokovic eased his way to an Australian Open semi-final clash with Andy Murray by beating David Ferrer in straight sets.

The top seed and defending champion won 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 in Melbourne to set up a repeat of last year's final.

Djokovic suffered an injury scare during the second set at the Rod Laver Arena when he was left grimacing in pain and clutching his left leg.

Super Serb: Novak Djokovic was too strong for David Ferrer in Melbourne

Super Serb: Novak Djokovic was too strong for David Ferrer in Melbourne

The Serb walked gingerly between points but gritted his teeth to overcome Spaniard Ferrer.

'I was lucky to get out of the second set, it was a big mental advantage to get two sets up,' Djokovic said.

After the match, he appeared to play down any on-court physical difficulties, saying: 'You have to hang in there.'

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will square up in the first semi-final and Djokovic is looking forward to it

He said: 'I will enjoy it from my couch, they're two out of four or five of the greatest players to play this game, they've been so dominant.

'Every time they play it's a treat. I'm going to have a nice dinner at home and watch them.'

Murray progressed to the last four with a comfortable victory over Kei Nishikori.

Full report to follow…

Eye on the ball: Djokovic is aiming for a second Australian Open title in a row

Eye on the ball: Djokovic is aiming for a second Australian Open title in a row

Out of reach: David Ferrer just couldn't cope with Djokovic

Out of reach: David Ferrer just couldn't cope with Djokovic

Colourful crowd: Djokovic fans give the top seed their backing in Melbourne

Colourful crowd: Djokovic fans give the top seed their backing in Melbourne

Well played: Ferrer congratulates Djokovic at the end of their match

Well played: Ferrer congratulates Djokovic at the end of their match

Australian Open 2012: Caroline Wozniacki beats Jelena Jankovic

Wozniacki survives second set scare to ease past Jankovic into last eight

World No 1 Caroline Wozniacki saw off a late fightback from Jelena Jankovic to ease into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open with a 6-0 7-5 victory.

The top-seeded Dane cruised early but was made to work hard to close out the match on a balmy evening at Rod Laver Arena.

Wozniacki, bidding for her maiden grand slam title, has not dropped a
set at Melbourne Park, but faces a far greater test against Kim
Clijsters in the quarter-finals.

Pumped up: Caroline Wozniacki celebrates reaching the quarter-finals

Pumped up: Caroline Wozniacki celebrates reaching the quarter-finals

'My confidence is high, my fitness is good, I feel like my play is improving,' Wozniacki said.

'I thought I played a great set and a half and then she started playing very well and got me back on my toes for a bit.

'I'm so happy to be through and even though I know some of the crowd wanted a long match, I hope you'll still support me.'

Up a set and coasting at 4-1 in the second, Wozniacki's victory charge was stalled when Jankovic broke back twice to level at 5-5.

Gutted: Jelena Jankovic couldn't maintain her fightback and was knocked out

Gutted: Jelena Jankovic couldn't maintain her fightback and was knocked out

But the world No 1 steadied by breaking the Serb again and sealed the match when Jankovic, who notched 50 unforced errors, sprayed a shot long.

The victory allowed Wozniacki to hold onto her top ranking for at least another few days. A number of contenders remain with a chance of swiping it should results go their way in the tournament.

Looking ahead to the last eight, Clijsters beat Wozniacki on both their previous meetings, the final of the 2009 U.S. Open and the final of the 2010 Tour Championships.

Australian Open 2012: Kim Clijsters and Li Na through to third round

Classy Clijsters and defending champion Na ease through to last 32 in Melbourne

Kim Clijsters and Li Na, last year's champion and runner-up respectively, eased into the third round of the Australian Open, dropping just five games between them.

Li was first on Rod Laver Arena and brushed aside the challenge of home hope Olivia Rogowska 6-2, 6-2.

Determined: Kim Clijsters was ruthless as she dispatched France's Stephanie Foretz Gacon in straight sets

Determined: Kim Clijsters was ruthless as she dispatched France's Stephanie Foretz Gacon in straight sets

Clijsters was even more ruthless in dispatching France's Stephanie Foretz Gacon 6-0, 6-1, in a 47-minute mismatch.

Alex Kay Talks Tennis

Li, the fifth seed and last year's French Open champion, dropped serve early but responded with three breaks of her own to cruise through the first set.

And there was never any chance of a comeback as she broke the Australian wild card's serve twice more to advance in just 62 minutes.

Clijsters also broke five times as she again proved the hip injury which forced her out of the Brisbane International is on the mend.

Holding on: Defending champion Li Na was in fine form to defeat Australia's Olivia Rogowska

Holding on: Defending champion Li Na was in fine form to defeat Australia's Olivia Rogowska

'I felt like I was hitting the ball well, seeing the ball well. I'm happy with the win,' she said.

Clijsters will next meet Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova, who beat Lesia Tsurenko 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, while Li takes on Anabel Medina Garrigues, a 6-1, 6-0 victor over Olga Govortsova.

On the ball: Daniela Hantuchova sent Lesia Tsurenko packing to book her third round place

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