Friday, 4 January, 2008
By Tristan Foenander
Na Li has pulled off another surprise victory at the Mondial Australian Women's Hardcourts, defeating fourth seed Patty Schnyder in three tight sets to advance to the final.
A day after eliminating top seed Nicole Vaidisova, Li showed that she has returned from injury in a rich vein of form. She played powerful and consistent tennis for the duration of the match to overcome the resilient Swiss, who rarely performs badly in Australia.
After overcoming a sluggish start and losing the first set 6-3, Li clawed her way back into the match in the second set, claiming an early break and holding off a determined Schnyder to win the set 6-3.
Neither player did themself any favours in the deciding set, with serving errors the major thorn in their side.
In a see-sawing set that had fans on the edge of their seats, both players seemed to break their opponent's serve with consummate ease.
But it was Li who gained the advantage when it counted most, breaking Schnyder in the dying stages then holding serve to claim victory.
A staggering statistic to note is that each player won 100 points for the match - a sign of just how even the contest was.
Li will now play the winner of Shahar Peer and Victoria Azarenka in Saturday's final.
For live scores of all the finals action from the Gold Coast click here