Li Na is through to the semi final in Sydney.

Li Na of China booked her place in the Sydney International semi-finals after a gruelling marathon win over Svetlana Kuznetsova. Li returned to the Sydney semi-finals for the first time since 2007 after out-lasting the two-time Grand Slam champion with a 3-6 7-6 6-3 success coming after almost two-and-a-half hours. Number 11 seed Li will now play Serbian qualifier Bojana Jovanovski, who beat Flavia Pennetta 6-4 6-1, in Thursday’s semi-finals. The Chinese number one beat the former US and French Open champion for just the fourth time in 11 matches to make the last four in Sydney.

Li made the Australian Open semis last year as she became the first Chinese player to make the world’s top 10, and she is hoping for another good showing at Melbourne after challenging for the Sydney title. “It was a tough match because the conditions were hot today,” Li said. “It is always tough when we play each other. We have played many times. “We didn’t want to play a long match, but every time we play it’s long. We know each other pretty well and sometimes we practice together, so we know how each other plays on the court.” Li is chasing a fourth career singles title, but was not yet thinking about lifting the trophy in Sydney just yet. “You never know what will happen in the next round against your next opponent,” she said.


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