Wozniacki Rounds Out Final Four In Montréal
Published August 11, 2012 12:00
MONTRÉAL, Canada - Not only was it a major upset, it was a welcome return to form for one of the WTA's most marquee names - Li Na dropped a 62 61 defeat onto Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarterfinals of the Rogers Cup to become the first player into the semifinals of the Premier-level tournament.
Both Radwanska and Li had won their third round matches earlier in the day, but it was clearly the No.10-seeded Li who got her game going again, needing just an hour and 10 minutes to cruise past the No.2-seeded Radwanska.
"I think the first match cost me a lot of power," Radwanska said. "It was very hot conditions out there, and then two hours later I was playing my second match. But anyway, she had the same situation, and she was playing too good.
"She was playing unbelievable today. I couldn't do anything."
Li's back-to-back wins over the No.9-ranked Sara Errani and the No.3-ranked Radwanska make it the first time she has beaten two Top 10 players at the same tournament since her famous French Open run 15 months ago, where she became the first Asian ever to win a Grand Slam title. And now the former World No.4 will rise from her current No.11 back into that Top 10.
"I'm really glad I could make it back to the Top 10 by winning today's match," said Li, the only Chinese ever to break the Top 10. "I hope to stay healthy and happy and keep trying to play my best tennis, match by match!"
Radwanska could have risen to No.1 in the world this week by winning the title. "I just hope I'll have more opportunities to be No.1," she said. "Of course I'm going to fight for the No.1 ranking every week. We'll see what happens."
The Polish trailblazer was asked if she would prefer No.1 or a Grand Slam title. "It's always a tricky question, but I want both," she said with a smile.
"It has been a tough week, especially yesterday with all the rain and all the waiting, but I'm really happy to be in the semis now, my first time in Canada," Safarova said afterwards. "I came out really strong in the matches today."
Li leads Safarova in their head-to-head series, 5-1, and has won their last five in a row - four of those five wins have come in straight sets, too.
"I've played her a few times. I don't think I've won against her yet," Safarova said. "She's a top player and always playing really strong. She has very strong groundstrokes. I have nothing to lose tomorrow. I will go there and try to play my tennis, try to take her time away and use my lefty serve, and we'll see."
The other semifinal spots went to No.5 seed Petra Kvitova, who beat Tamira Paszek, 63 62, and No.7 seed Caroline Wozniacki, who ended the run of Canadian wildcard Aleksandra Wozniak, 64 64, though it wasn't easy by any means - she needed six match points to close her near-namesake out.
Wozniacki leads Kvitova in their head-to-head series, 3-2, though in their last meeting it was Kvitova who won comfortably at the WTA Championships last October (it was their only meeting since Kvitova broke the Top 30).