Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Li Na snaps Radwanska's streak with straight-set victory

MELBOURNE, Australia — Li Na advanced to the Australian Open semifinals for the third time in four years, bringing fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska's 13-match winning streak to a shuddering halt.

Sixth-seeded Li, who lost the 2011 Australian Open final to Kim Clijsters months before her Grand Slam breakthrough at the French Open, had a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Radwanska in today's first match on Rod Laver Arena.

"She's a tough player. I was feeling today against a wall," Li said. "She can hit everywhere, but without a mistake. I was feeling just very tough. You have to focus on every shot. Not every point, every shot."

Radwanska came into the Australian Open with titles this season at Auckland and Sydney, where she beat Li in the semifinals, but she continued her poor subpar results in Grand Slam quarterfinals. She has advanced further once in seven tries, at Wimbledon last year when she lost the final to Serena Williams.

Sixth-seeded Li will play the winner of today's all-Russian quarterfinal between No. 2-ranked Maria Sharapova, who conceded only five games in her first four matches at Melbourne Park, and Ekaterina Makarova.

"At least now I'm in the semis," Li said. Sharapova "has to play, so … right? Now I can start now to enjoy my day. She has to fight, yeah. So that's better."

The quarterfinals on the other half of the draw will feature American teenager Sloane Stephens against Serena Williams, who is aiming for a third consecutive major title, and defending champion Victoria Azarenka against two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova.

With a comeback 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 win over Bojana Jovanovski on Monday, Stephens qualified for her first quarterfinal at a major. Williams has already played at that level 34 times.

Earlier this month, Williams beat Stephens, 19, in straight sets at the Brisbane International.

"It will be tough, obviously. It's quarters of a Grand Slam," Stephens said. "There won't be that, like, first time, 'Oh, my God, I'm playing Serena.' That's kind of out of the window now. So that's good."

Williams and Azarenka advanced Monday, losing just four games between them against Russian rivals. Williams beat No. 14 Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 6-0, and Azarenka defeated Elena Vesnina 6-1, 6-1.

On the men's side, No. 2 Roger Federer and U.S. Open champion Andy Murray stayed on course for a semifinal in their half of the draw.

Federer won 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 over big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, advancing to a Grand Slam quarterfinal for the 35th consecutive time. Murray took advantage of Gilles Simon's fatigue for a 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 victory.

.Fast facts

Key results

Men — Roger Federer (2) d. Milos Raonic (13) 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2; Andy Murray (3) d. Gilles Simon (14) 6-3, 6-1, 6-3; Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (7) d. Richard Gasquet (9) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Women — Victoria Azarenka (1) d. Elena Vesnina 6-1, 6-1; Serena Williams (3) d. Maria Kirilenko (14) 6-2, 6-0; Li Na (6) d. Agnieszka Radwanska (4) 7-5, 6-3.

Today on TV: 7 p.m., Tennis; 9 p.m., 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, ESPN2

Li Na snaps Radwanska's streak with straight-set victory 01/21/13 [Last modified: Monday, January 21, 2013 11:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs have chance to beat Vikings in their third stadium

    Bucs

    Here's a cool sign that the Bucs are getting up there as an NFL franchise: If Tampa Bay can win Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, it will mark the first time the Bucs have posted road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.

    TIMES ARCHIVES (2012) | Bucs RB Doug Martin runs during Tampa Bay's 36-17 win at the Vikings in 2012, in what was then called Mall of America Field. If Tampa Bay wins Sunday, it will mark the first time they have road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.
  2. NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump comments on national anthem

    Bucs

    SOMERSET, N.J. — The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national …

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]
  3. Matt Peca making case for Lightning spot

    Blogs

    Center Matt Peca said he didn't read too much into the fact he was the only Lightning player to appear in each of the first three exhibition games.

    But Peca, 24, loved it.

    Matt Peca won nine of 10 faceoffs Friday, a skill the Lightning badly needs.
  4. Bucs players respond to Trump comments on anthem protests

    Blogs

    President Donald Trump shared his thoughts Friday night on NFL players protesting during the national anthem, suggesting that NFL owners should "fire" players who kneel during the anthem in protest. His remarks are alreading drawing responses from many NFL players, including some Bucs.

    Bucs players Mike Evans and Jameis Winston stand with coach Dirk Koetter during the national anthem in a game played in San Diego last season.
  5. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018

    Blogs

    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    Catcher Wilson Ramos connects for a two-run single in the fifth inning against the Cubs on Sept. 20, 2017.