Melbourne - Second seed Caroline Wozniacki says her 2011
Australian Open semi-final defeat to Li Na still haunts her as she tries to go
one better this year and end her Grand Slam drought.
The Dane held match points against the Chinese great on her
only previous appearance in the last four at Melbourne Park.
"That's the one that really hurt," Wozniacki said
after reaching a semi-final again early on Wednesday with a three-set victory over
Spain's gritty 39th-ranked Carla Suarez Navarro.
"I had match points against Li Na. I lost it. That's
still haunting me till this day. So I'm hoping for a different result this
Wozniacki will face unseeded Belgian debutant Elise Mertens
on Thursday for a place in Saturday's final, but seven years on she remembers
her meltdown against Li like it was yesterday.
"I remember serving for it at 5-4 in the second set. I
remember being up 3-1 in the second set, serving with the sun," she
"That was very difficult. Maybe if I had been on the
other side of the court, it would have been different.
"I remember very well that match. I usually forget
matches and I don't remember playing certain people. I don't remember a lot of
things, but that one is one that I remember very well."
Wozniacki was the top seed that year having risen to number
one in the world in 2010 and she said the defeat was crushing.
"I went back on the practice court. I never do that
after going far in a tournament and losing after a tough battle," she
"I usually take a day off the next day. I went back and
practised. Just needed to get some frustration out.
"That's one that really hurt. I've lost from match
points up and won from match points down before. That one was a special
Li went on to lose the final to Kim Clijsters in three sets.
Wozniacki withstood a second set blip against Suarez Navarro
to win 6-0, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2 in a match that finished after 01:30.
She now faces Belgium's Mertens, the world number 37 who
trains at Clijsters' academy.
Mertens is in top form on a 10-match win streak after
winning the Hobart International warm-up event. Wozniacki knows she will be
"She's had a very good start to the year, she's
unbeaten," said Wozniacki.
"I remember playing her in Bastad. She's a great
That encounter in July last year on clay remains their only
previous meeting. Wozniacki prevailed in three sets.