Tennis: China's Li continues Melbourne love affair
MELBOURNE (REUTERS) - China's tempestuous trailblazer Li Na sailed into the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday and is poised for a deep run into the second week should she be able to overcome her greatest opponent - herself.
The sixth seed had little trouble despatching Romania's Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 6-1 on a breezy day at Rod Laver Arena to underline her title credentials in Melbourne.
As shown by her breakthrough French Open triumph in 2011, Li has the game, built around a cracking forehand, to topple the heavyweights if only she can win the mental battle in her head.
A bonus for Li is the absence of four-time Major champion Kim Clijsters, who beat her in the 2011 final and knocked her out of the fourth round last year.