Tennis

Li tops Kerber at WTA Champs

2012-10-25 18:09
Li Na (AP)

Istanbul - Li Na kept alive her hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the WTA Championships with a resilient and polished performance in a straight sets win over Angelique Kerber on Thursday.

The former French Open champion from China's 6-4, 6-3 win over the hard-working German may have also had something to do with the energy Kerber expended while earning match points in a massive three-hour effort against world number one Victoria Azarenka the night before.

Kerber nevertheless started well, breaking serve almost at once and holding her lead until 4-2.

But once Li had broken back for 4-4 she was more nimble of step, more flat-hitting of ground stroke, and eventually more motivated for success too.

By the end of the first set Kerber was becoming wayward with her serve and looking discouraged, which prompted some very intense in-your-face exhortations from coach Torben Beltz.

Li by contrast was nodding relaxedly at comments from her new coach Carlos Rodriguez, of whom she says: "He makes me a little bit stronger in the mind as well as in tennis."

Such qualities came in useful when Li was confronted with her early deficit, as did her liking for bold stroke-making.

She was particularly potent with sharp cross-court backhand angles in making the break back and when she maintained similar pressure in her next return game Kerber cracked.

The woman from Wuhan engineered two set points for herself, often threatening the Kerber second serve, and on the third Kerber delivered a costly double fault, her sixth.

It changed the match. Li broke again at once in the second set, and although Kerber bravely chiselled out a break back Li broke twice more, penetrating increasingly with her raking drives.

Kerber's resistance never completely disappeared and included one innovative double-handed shovel shot that launched a remarkable lob over her head while facing the wrong way.

But it made little difference, and if the eight-seeded Li can do well against Azarenka on Friday, she could yet qualify against the odds.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.