1
1
1

Li Closes Out Resilient Errani

Li Na beat Sara Errani in straight sets at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships - Istanbul on Wednesday, though the one-hour, four-minute second set was anything but straightforward.

Published October 23, 2013 12:13

Li Closes Out Resilient Errani
Li Na

ISTANBUL, Turkey - Li Na beat Sara Errani at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships - Istanbul on Wednesday, though the one-hour, four-minute second set was anything but straightforward.

Watch highlights, interviews and much more video from Istanbul all week, right here!

Li had never lost to Errani in five previous meetings, and had won the last 10 sets they had played as well, and that trend continued as she won a relatively routine first set and, after falling back 3-1 in the second set, reeling off four games in a row to get to 63 53, with a match point on Errani's serve.

Li missed a forehand down the line into the net on that match point and an inspired Errani seized the momentum, not only pushing the set to a tie-break but building a 3-1 lead in that tie-break. But Li went on another tear from there, reeling off five points to get to 6-3 and triple match point, and on her fourth match point the No.4-seeded Chinese finally closed out the No.6-seeded Italian, 63 76(5).

"The first match is always tough," Li said. "I think Sara was fighting a lot today. Even when I had a match point she was still fighting a lot on the court, so yeah, I was really happy to win this match."

The crowd gave Li a large cheer as she walked onto the court - and the Chinese echoed the sentiment.

"Thank you to the fans," she said. "I always look forward to coming back to play in Istanbul."

Li was the clear aggressor during the match, her huge, flat blasts producing 42 winners to 35 unforced errors. Errani's differential wasn't as good but it was still positive - 14 winners and 13 unforced.

Having already had her day off for the week, Li will now have to turnaround and play her next match on Thursday, against No.7 seed Jelena Jankovic. Li has a narrow lead against Jankovic in their head-to-head series, 5-4, but in their most recent meeting at the US Open she lost only three games, 63 60.

"Right now I'm just enjoying this win," Li said. "When I play Jelena it's always a tough match. We know each other very well. I played her at the US Open, but that match doesn't mean anything tomorrow."

Li and Jankovic do indeed know each other very well - not only have they always been good friends on the tour, they were also doubles champions together all the way back in 2006, at Birmingham. In their long careers they have each only won one other WTA doubles title with another partner - Li won Tashkent in 2000 with fellow Chinese Li Ting, Jankovic in Toronto this year with Katarina Srebotnik.

Share this page!

Related news

  • Wozniacki On Serena's Friendship

    July 22, 2014
    Caroline Wozniacki had kind words for her good friend and fellow WTA superstar Serena Williams, as well as Venus Williams.
  • Wozniacki Makes Strides Toward Singapore

    July 21, 2014
    Caroline Wozniacki secured her 22nd WTA title and first of the season to make a move on the Road To Singapore leaderboard.
  • July 11, 1990 & July 20, 2014

    July 21, 2014
    What do those two dates have in common? It's not the fact that they're both in July, and it's nothing to do with astronomy or anything... take your guesses and read on!
To The Top
3