Li Na should make her first final but who will she meet there?

Not only has Li conceded the fewest games of the four semifinalists (26), she also has a perfect 2-0 record against Wozniacki in Australia, have beaten the Dane at both Sydney and Melbourne 12 months ago. And although she is the underdog on paper, the 28-year-old probably holds the outcome of this match in her hands. Naturally more aggressive than the world No.1, and on balance more powerful, she’ll be the one making the plays. If she executes, her 10 match winning streak will get longer, carrying her to China’s first Grand Slam final. Of course, Wozniacki has also improved considerably over the past year, and the first-time Australian Open semifinalist will do her best to make Li play that extra ball every time. With the No.1 ranking assured, it’s now all about winning the title for her.

As spectacular as Clijsters’ return to the game has been, Zvonareva has more or less owned the Belgian in this second phase of her career. Last year the pair met four times, and the Russian won three of them – at Wimbledon, MontrĂ©al and the WTA Championships. Of course, today’s encounter is a rematch of the US Open final, which Clijsters won with breathtaking efficiency. But she will surely be expecting a tougher outing this time. Zvonareva was all business against Petra Kvitova in the quarters, and though seeded higher, may feel less pressure for the fact that this isn’t the final. And, as Agnieszka Radwanska showed against Clijsters in the last round, especially in the second set, it is possible to find chinks in the brilliant Belgian’s arsenal. Whoever prevails today will be No.2 in the world next Monday.


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