CINCINNATI: China’s Li Na, seeking her first WTA title since winning the 2011 French Open, defeated Venus Williams 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 to reach the final of the ATP and WTA Cincinnati Masters.
Ninth-seed Li, who reached the Montreal final last week, will play the final against fifth-seed Angelique Kerber of Germany, who defeated Czech fourth-seed Petra Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon winner, 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.
Kerber, who has lost only one three-set match this year, played steadily in the face of more than 50 unforced errors from Kvitova.
“I tried to focus until the last point,” said Kerber. “She played better than me in the second set. But I tried to hit the ball deep then. I moved very well and went for my shots when I could. It’s amazing to be in the final.”
Li captured the first set and broke Venus’ first service game of the second set for a 2-0 edge. While Venus forced her way to a third set, Li dominated to register her 33rd victory of the season.
Federer, Djokovic set up showdown
Meanwhile, in the men’s event, world number one Roger Federer and second-placed Novak Djokovic booked a showdown with straight-set semi-final triumphs.
Top-seed Federer beat Swiss compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, while Djokovic, who quit last year’s final against Andy Murray with a shoulder problem, advanced by defeating Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3, 6-2.
“It will come down to a few points against Novak,” Federer said. “He plays aggressive and doesn’t just push the ball. Novak is amazing on hard court. This is a final to look forward to.” AFP
Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2012.