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Serena Williams into final

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 13:03

The world number one was fully extended by the 16th seed, who was appearing in her first grand slam semi-final, before prevailing 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (7/1) in just over two hours.

Li had showed her battling qualities in her comeback win over Williams’ sister Venus yesterday and fended off four match points to frustrate the American’s charge. But Williams stamped her class on the contest when it counted most in each tie-beak to claim her 50th win at Melbourne Park.

The 28-year-old served out the match with an ace and let out a loud scream of delight after the closely-fought match.

“I had so many match points and I blew it,” a relieved Williams said.

“I knew on serve (in the tie-break) I had the chance to close it out and I did. I had to because she is an amazing fighter.”

Williams will now aim for a 12th grand slam title against the winner of today’s other semi-final between returning Belgian Justine Henin and Zheng Jie.

Should Williams achieve that she will equal the mark of Billy-Jean King, who will be in Melbourne for the final.

“That’s the goal,” Williams said. “I have a long career to keep trying to do it, but if it doesn’t happen this year then I’ll keep trying.”

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