January 23, 2013

Li Na beats Maria Sharapova to reach Australian Open final

China's Li Na produced a superb display to beat Maria Sharapova 6-2 6-2 and reach the Australian Open final.

Second seed Sharapova had only dropped nine games in her previous five matches but struggled with her serve throughout the semi-final clash at Melbourne Park.

Li, 30, broke Sharapova three times to take the opening set, including in the first game, and then broke the Russian again in the fifth game of the second.

The sixth seed, the 2011 runner-up, maintained her form for a deserved win.

Li, the first Asian player to win a Grand Slam crown, took only 93 minutes to end Sharapova's hopes.
"I always play well here," said Li.

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