Li Na will play against Dominika Cibulkova in the 2014 Australian Open Final on Saturday after both dominated their semi-final matches.
Slovakian Cibulkova came up with another superb play on the Rod Laver Arena court to shock fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-2, through to the last match of the women’s singles.
Li cruised past Candaian teenager Eugenie Bouchard to advance into the final of this year’s championship.
Li (4) beat Bouchard (30) 6-2, 6-4
World number four, Li, reached her third final in Melbourne Park in a match between the highest and the lowest (30) remaining seeds in the tournament.
The 19-year-old Bouchard, who had seen off 14th seed Ana Ivanovic in a last eight shocker, came up against brick walls on Thursday as her Chinese opponent raced to a 5-0 lead within 14 minutes of play.
Li racked up winners and threatened to break match record time in an overwhelming fashion. Li struck 35 winners to Bouchard’s 10 but she did throw up a few more unforced errors in the process, 23 to 14.
The Canadian did not give up and she registered her first game with a break of the Li serve in the sixth game of the match, in a very surprising fashion.
The teenager followed up with a hold and despite losing the opening set 6-2, winning those games boosted her confidence.
Li, looking to continue from where she left off in the second set had multiple break points in the first game while Bouchard fought to stay in the match.
Some floppy forehands from the Chinese had Bouchard break her in the following game.
But wary of her opponents growing confidence she broke back and then leveled the second set.
Following some successive break of points from the Cadanian’s serves in the following games, Bouchard was beginning to wonder which way forward and after securing a decisive break in the seventh game, a final berth beckoned for the Chinese.
Shortly after, Li served out the match to book her place in the final against Cibulkova.
“I think beginning of the match I play very well,” explained Li. “Second set was a little bit tight because I was feeling, yeah, one set in target. Is more like pretty feeling one feet already in the final.
“She’s young. She hit ball well. I think for sure she can be very good player.”
Cibulkova (20) beat Radwanska (5) 6-1, 6-1