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Li prolongs Kvitova’s hunt for top spot

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Originally published on: 12/01/12 10:00

Li Na ended Petra Kvitova’s hopes of becoming world No.1 ahead of the Australian Open after beating the Czech in three sets to reach the final of the Apia International Sydney.    

The Wuhan native, who won the tournament last year after beating Kim Clijsters in the final, set up her another place in the showpiece match after recovering from a set and a break down to secure a 1-6 7-5 6-2 triumph over the reigning Wimbledon champion.    

With defeat looming after winning just one game in the first set, Li benefited from a pep-talk from husband and coach Shan Jiang.

“He said: ‘Okay, if you play same like this, you’ll lose match easy,'” recounted Li.

Now with a guaranteed high-quality final in the offing in Sydney, Li faces either world No.3 Victoria Azarenka or Agnieszka Radwanska, who conquered Caroline Wozniacki on Wednesday.    

Li’s form had taken a dramatic downturn after winning her first Grand Slam title at the French Open last year, but the 29-year-old is back in good touch in Australia, where she went on to reach the final of the Australian Open last year.

 

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