Home girl Li enters semis
Li Na’s bid to claim her first major tournament on home soil remained on course Wednesday as she progressed to the quarter-finals of the China Open after defeating Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki.
The home crowd favourite dumped out her German opponent 7-5, 6-4 in a cool-headed display of efficiency at a packed National Tennis Centre in Beijing.
The world number five drew loud applause within the first five minutes after she broke Lisicki’s serve with the first game of the match.
Lisicki broke back to level the scores at 5-5, but Li powered ahead and took the decisive final two games, with her coach Carlos Rodriguez signalling at her from the stands to maintain her mental strength.
In the quarterfinals the fourth seed will face Czech Petra Kvitova, who defeated Italian Sara Errani 6-4, 6-7(7/3), 6-3 in their third-round match.
World number four Agnieszka Radwanska had earlier powered through to the third round with a convincing victory over American teenager Madison Keys.
Elsewhere, Andrea Petkovic continued her stunning form at the tournament by dumping out former Roland Garros winner Svetlana Kuznetsova 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in her second-round match.