2011 Australian Open: Preview – Caroline Wozniacki vs Li Na

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2011 Australian Open: Preview – Caroline Wozniacki vs Li Na
Only two matches away in her bid for a maiden Grand Slam win, top Dane Caroline Wozniacki is playing her first semi-final at Melbourne Park on Day 11 of the Australian Open.
Finishing last year as the world number one, Wozniacki was seeded first in the event with much criticism and chat about her top position, since a Grand Slam title still
eludes the Dane. However, proving them all wrong, Wozniacki has ventured the furthest ever in the Australian Open this year. Along the way she secured her position at the top after making it to the semis.
Starting the year with an upset in the first match of the year, the Dane has since then pulled herself together and is in full form and now one of the favourites to win
the event. The Dane started the year playing at the Medibank International in Sydney two weeks ago though she was ousted in the second round by Dominika Cibulkova.
Coming into her fourth Australian Open, the Dane has enjoyed straight sets victories at every step of the way improving on each instance losing only thirty four games in
eleven sets. Wozniacki started her run playing Gisela Dulko. Dismissing the Argentinean, Wozniacki moved on ahead to play Vania King, whom she humbled with a loss of only one game.
In a rematch of their Sydney matchup, Wozniacki played Cibulkova. Staying true to the phrase “h**l hath no fury like a woman’s scorn”, Wozniacki was ruthless and unforgiving
in her assault as she ousted 29th seeded Cibulkova in only ninety minutes. Moving past Anastasija Sevastova in the fourth round, Wozniacki played Francesca Schiavone in the quarterfinals. Hitting her first bump in an otherwise smooth run, Wozniacki
bounced back from being one set down to secure a three set win over the Italian and move into the final four.
Meeting Wozniacki in the semis is the number one Chinese, Li Na. The two players are meeting for a rematch of the 2010 Australian Open, where Li ousted Wozniacki in the
fourth round. Looking to take revenge on the Chinese, Wozniacki may be even more unforgiving against Na than she was against Cibulkova.
When asked about playing Li, Wozniacki said, "I lost to her here last year. She's a really good player and she hasn't lost a match this year yet. She won in Sydney and she
is on a roll. I think Li has improved a lot, but I also believe I have. I am going to go in there, fight for every point, and just see what happens."
The pair’s meeting in the semi-final will be their fourth on the WTA Tour with Li leading the head to head score by 2-1. Li currently holds a two match winning streak over
the Dane.
A 2010 semi-finalist here, Li is putting in her sixth appearance at the event. Truly enjoying smooth sailing, Li has yet to drop a single set. Coming from a title win at
the Sydney event two weeks ago where she defeated Kim Clijsters, Li made her way into the semi finals losing only twenty six games of ten sets as she moved past Sofia Arvidsson, Evgeniya Rodina, Barbora Strycova, eighth seeded Victoria Azarenka and Andrea
Given the recent form of both professionals it is difficult to say with surety who would be the winner. The disparity in ranking is balanced by the lead Li enjoys in the head to head. One thing that can be said without a doubt is that neither player
will enjoy a straight sets victory. 



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