Venus crashes out
Originally published on: 26/02/10 13:03
Williams had at one stage led by a set and 5-3 and looked certain to reach the last-four at Melbourne Park for the first time since 2003.
The Chinese 16th seed, however, staged a brave fightback as she claimed the second set in a tie-break before edging a closely-fought third set.
Li’s victory means China will have two players in the semi-finals of a major for the first time after Zheng Jie won through to play Justine Henin in the bottom half of the draw.
“It is good for both players and also good for Chinese tennis,” Li said. “Today I just play my tennis, even after I lost my first set.”
Williams raced through the opening set in 30 minutes and had a chance to serve for the match at 5-3 in the second.
Li had hardly troubled the seven-time grand slam winner until that point but somehow found a way to grab a break before winning the tie-break.
Williams started to tire in the deciding set as both players struggled to hold serve.
There were seven breaks in the opening nine games before Li missed the chance to serve for the set when she was broken to love.
The Chinese broke again, however, and this time served out the match with a forehand down the line wrapping up the result after two hours and 47 minutes.