Li Na beat Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 6-4
on Tuesday to reach the Australian Open semifinals for the second
The No. 9-seeded Li broke her German rival's serve three times in
the first set and twice in the second, recovering an early break in
each set herself and playing more consistently than the erratic
Li lost the 2010 semifinal in two tiebreak sets to eventual
champion Serena Williams.
"It's good for me - second time in a Grand Slam semifinal always
in Australian Open," Li said. "Hopefully I can do better in this
year. I don't want to lose in semis again."
The 28-year-old Li was the only quarterfinalist from the last
Australian Open to reach the last eight this year.
She has extended her winning streak to 10 matches this year,
including her title run at the tuneup tournament in Sydney, where
she became the first Chinese player to win a WTA Premier singles
Rafael Nadal is on a 25-match winning streak in Grand Slam
tournaments and is focussing on his Rafa Slam right now. He was more
comfortable talking about his 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 fourth-round win over
Marin Cilic on Monday night than his modeling work for Armani.
Nadal already holds the French, Wimbledon and U.S. Open crowns
and is three wins from an Australian title. Nobody has held all four
men's majors at once since Rod Laver in a calendar year in 1969.
He next plays fellow Spaniard David Ferrer, who fended off
big-serving 20-year-old Canadian qualifier Milos Raonic 4-6, 6-2,
In the previous round, Nadal had complained that a virus he
picked up two weeks ago in Qatar left him weak and caused him to
sweat more than usual.
"The two other days I was sweating like crazy and I felt very
tired when I played the match," he said. "Today was the first day
that I felt perfect physically. So that is the most important
Andy Murray, the last man to beat Nadal at a major - in their
quarterfinal here last year - made only 10 unforced errors in a 6-3,
6-1, 6-1 win over No. 11 Jurgen Melzer. In the quarterfinals, he'll
meet Alexandr Dolgopolov, who ousted French Open finalist Robin
Soderling 1-6, 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.
On the women's side, No. 3 Kim Clijsters wasted plenty of chances
to break Ekaterina Makarova before winning 7-6 (3), 6-2, while No. 2
Vera Zvonareva kept rolling toward a possible third consecutive
Grand Slam final with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Iveta Benesova.
Zvonareva, who lost the Wimbledon final to Serena Williams and
the U.S. Open final to Clijsters last year, moved into a
quarterfinal against No. 25 Petra Kvitova, who rallied past No. 22
Flavia Pennetta 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
No. 12 Agnieszka Radwanska beat China's Peng Shuai 7-5, 3-6, 7-5
and in the quarters will meet Clijsters, the growing favorite for
the women's title.
Defending champion Roger Federer takes on No. 19 Stanislas
Wawrinka in the first all-Swiss quarterfinal at a Grand Slam on
Tuesday, while 2008 champion Novak Djokovic takes on Wimbledon
finalist Tomas Berdych.
In the women's quarterfinals, No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki faces
French Open champion Francesca Schiavone and China's Li Na is
attempting to make back-to-back Australian Open semifinals when she
plays No. 30 Andrea Petkovic.