By Fernie Ruano, Jr.
It took Chinese star Li Na, the No. 2 seed in the 2014 Sony Open Tennis, just over an hour to overcome Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 7-5 Wednesday night on Stadium Court in Key Biscayne.
Windy conditions and an uncharacteristically cool evening had both players struggling at times, but Li kept her focus best during the big points to win consecutive games at 5-5 in both sets. Li will face Dominika Cibulkova on Thursday night for a spot in the finals.
Hard hitting characterized both sets with Li saying she felt at times like no matter what she threw at Wozniacki the Dane would send it back to her. “So I was feeling a little bit like (a) player against a wall, you know. She always put the ball back in my court,” Li said. “Yeah, after I was finished with the match, I was feeling, ‘Wow, you’re doing good. You beat a wall.’”
Wozniacki, who was stretched out for several minutes by a trainer in the second set, battled to the end, but despite getting the lead in both sets could not break through when it counted most. She was bidding for her second semifinals appearance in three years in Key Biscayne.
For her part, Li becomes the first Chinese woman to reach the semifinals at the Sony Open. When reminded of the feat and asked if she gets tired of hearing that she is the first Chinese to accomplish so many things, Li said simply: “No, I’m not tired. I enjoy.”