Monday, May 25, 2015Monday, May 25, 2015

Tennis: Li ends Bouchard dream to make Australian Open final

Published on Jan 23, 2014 12:48 PM
China's Li Na (left) shakes hands after her victory in her women's singles semi-final match against Canada's Eugenie Bouchard on Day 11 of the 2014 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Jan 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 

MELBOURNE (AFP) - China's Li Na swept into her second consecutive Australian Open final on Thursday, using her all experience to brush aside Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard in straight sets.

The fourth seed ended the 19-year-old's inspiring run at Melbourne Park 6-2, 6-4 and will play either fifth seed Agniezska Radwanska or 20th seed Dominika Cibulkova in Saturday's final.

Li, 31, has consistently been a solid performer on Melbourne's plexicushion courts over the last five years, now reaching three finals, as well as another semi-final and the fourth round.

But Li has never taken the next step, beaten by Kim Clijsters in 2011 and agonisingly by Victoria Azarenka in the final last year, when she dramatically twice rolled her ankle and briefly blacked out.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!