China's Li Na fought back from a set and a break down to delay Petra Kvitova's bid for the World No 1 ranking in a tenacious semi-final victory at the Sydney International yesterday.
Two good: China's Li Na and Victoria Azarenka(below) of Belarus
French Open champion Li recovered to down Wimbledon winner Kvitova 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 in two hours of high-class tennis to reach her second consecutive Sydney final, where she will face third seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.
"The way she (Kvitova) was playing in the first set I didn't know what to do. Give up? I couldn't do anything. I think in the second set the match turned around because her service game was not like the first set where she was hitting winners all the time," Li said In doing so, World No 5 Li frustrated the Czech left-hander's immediate hopes of toppling Caroline Wozniacki from the top of the women's rankings ahead of next week's Australian Open in Melbourne.
Kvitova, trailing Wozniacki by just 295 rankings points, would have claimed the No 1 spot if she had won the Sydney tournament (470 points).
In the other semi-final, Azarenka fought back from a set down to beat Wozniacki's victor from the quarters, Polish seventh seed Agnieszka Radwanska 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 in almost two hours.