Li sets up Australian Open rematch with Cibulkova

Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:57pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) - World number two Li Na powered her way past 11th seed Caroline Wozniacki 7-5 7-5 and into the semi-finals of the Sony Open on Wednesday, setting up another rematch of the Australian Open final against Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova.

Li did not play a match until the third round after receiving a first round bye and second round walkover but has since been in sizzling form, reaching the last four without dropping a set.

Earlier on a windswept center court, Cibulkova fought off three match points to claim a 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 upset win over third seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, propelling her into the top 10 for the first time in her career.

The win set up another clash with Asia's first grand slam singles champion, who defeated the Slovakian at Melbourne Park in straight sets and again at the quarter-finals at Indian Wells in three sets two weeks ago.

"Another tough match, for sure," said Li, looking ahead to her semi-final. "I think so many people think about maybe a repeat for the final, but it's not.

"Miami is Miami, because Australia is over. It's past already."

Wozniacki, a former-world number one, presented few problems for Li as she raced to a 4-1 lead in the opening set before the Dane hit back with a four-game spurt to go in front 5-4.

But Li recovered to close the set with a three-game run which was followed by a similar four-game sweep to end the second set and clinch the match.   Continued...

Mar 26, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Li Na celebrates after her match against Caroline Wozniacki (not pictured) on day ten of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center. Na won 7-5, 7-5. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports - RTR3IQZT