Li Na Humiliates Sharapova At Austral...

Li Na Humiliates Sharapova At Australian Open!!

Posted in the China Forum


Brooklyn, NY

#1 Jan 24, 2013
Li Na Beats Sharapova to Reach Australian Open Finals

China’s Li Na has reached the Australian Open Finals for the second time by handling 2nd-ranked Maria Sharapova in straight sets. She will face top-ranked Victoria Azarenka who overcame US teen Sloane Stephens.

On an intensely hot summer day in Rod Laver Arena Sharapova was the first to show a loss of cool by double-faulting on her first two service points. That bolstered Li’s composure, allowing her to dish out the groundstroke winners that seemed to bewilder Sharapova, earning Li an early service break.

From the first points it was apparent that the Russian’s game plan was to keep the ball away from Li’s stingingly precise backhand. Unfortunately for her, on this day Li’s normally erratic forehand proved to be rock-steady, allowing her to achieve a surprising 6-2, 6-2 win over a player against whom she has compiled her worst head-to-head record.

After dropping the first set Sharapova seemed to regain her composure at the start of the second. Both players held their first two service games. But in the fifth game Li seemed better able to expend the energy for the seasaw battle. Through a combination of her superior footspeed and precise, line-painting forehands, she eked out a service break. When Sharapova failed to return the favor in the sixth game, the match seemed all but over.

Every rally showed the changes that had been wrought on Li’s game by her new coach Carlos Rodriguez. Her groundstrokes had more topspin, allowing them to clear the net with a bigger margin of safety. Rather than going for outright winners, Li constructed her points, allowing her to move Sharapova out of position before placing the money shot. She also avoided the kind of negative body language that often set her on track to losing her composure.

At 5-2 40-all, Li even managed an ace to get to match point. A discouraged Sharapova then dumped her return into the net for a perfect punctuation to a match that Li had played as flawlessly as any deep into a Grand Slam.

By entering the final Li has moved up to no. 5 in the world from her pre-tournament 6th ranking. She has a 4-5 head-to-head record against Azarenka. If she beats her on Saturday, Li will have two Grand Slams under her belt and move into the no. 4 spot. If she loses, she may flash back to her 2011 Australian Open final loss to Kim Clijsters. Last year she lost to Clijsters in the round of 16.
Truth Be Told

Brooklyn, NY

#2 Jan 24, 2013
No stopping China!

San Francisco, CA

#3 Jan 24, 2013
I hope Li Na is not on steroids like other Chinese athletes. She is almost forty and still playing well all of a sudden.

Since: Mar 08


#4 Jan 25, 2013
Snowflake wrote:
I hope Li Na is not on steroids like other Chinese athletes. She is almost forty and still playing well all of a sudden.
You need to work on your math especially the functions to ROUND. She's born on Feb 26, 1982. She's 30, not "almost forty".

San Francisco, CA

#5 Jan 25, 2013
I had been told that she was forty.

Timaru, New Zealand

#6 Jan 25, 2013
Truth Be Told wrote:
No stopping China!
Yea well, the power of the Chinese poon tang is legendary
True Dat

Brooklyn, NY

#7 Jan 27, 2013
China back on top!

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