Radwanska downs Li Na

2013-07-02 18:00
Agnieszka Radwanska (AFP)

London - Agnieszka Radwanska downed China's Li Na in an epic Wimbledon quarter-final on Tuesday between the highest seeds left standing.

The Polish fourth seed, beaten by Serena Williams in last year's final, defeated the sixth seed 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-2 in a closely-fought two-hour, 43 minute contest on Centre Court.

It took Radwanska eight match points to see off the resilient Li, in an entertaining clash where the 24-year-old Pole just had the edge over the 2011 French Open champion.

Radwanska plays German 23rd seed Sabine Lisicki -- who beat defending champion Serena Williams in the fourth round -- in the semi-finals on Thursday, ensuring at least one player of Polish descent in Saturday's final.

Lisicki beat Estonian world number 46 Kaia Kanepi in straight sets in their quarter-final.

"She was playing unbelievable tennis," Radwanska said of Li.

"I'm just very happy to have got through, even when I was struggling a little bit in the third set, I'm still very, very happy to be in the semi-final."

With world number one Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova and Sara Errani all out in the first week, Li and Radwanska were the highest-ranked players left.

In head to head matches between the pair, the Chinese was 6-4 ahead going into the match, and won their Australian Open quarter-final this year. Li ended up the beaten finalist in Melbourne.

The contest was punctuated by lengthy rallies, with Radwanska throwing in her trademark array of deft lobs and soft drop shots that mark her out among the booming baseliners of the women's game.

In the first set, Radwanska and Li fought a big tussle for the eighth game, which Li held for 4-4. The momentum was now with the Wuhan right-hander and she duly broke serve in the next game to serve for the set.

However, Radwanska was able to stave off set point in a net duel and fought off three further set points, eventually breaking to level the scores.

That swung the momentum in the Pole's favour and she won the tie-break to seal the 65-minute set.

Radwanska quickly broke for a 2-1 lead in the second set.

Li fashioned a break point right when she needed it, at 4-3 down, and won it to level the set at 4-4. The 31-year-old broke again to take the set.

Radwanska called for the trainer at the break and had her right thigh heavily taped up, while Li studied her notes.

In the third set, Radwanska broke for a 2-0 lead before the rain came again.

With the roof closed, the Pole broke again for a 4-1 lead and then held serve to leave Li on the brink.

The Chinese held off match point twice on her serve and won the game.

With Radwanska serving for the match, Li fashioned three break points but blew them all.

Li then managed to cling on repeatedly before her luck eventually ran out on Radwanska's eighth match point.

Radwanska is bidding to join the four Wimbledon girls' champions who went on to lift the women's title: Ann Haydon-Jones, Karen Hantze Susman, Martina Hingis and Amelie Mauresmo.

The Pole is the only player to have reached the quarter-finals of the first three majors of 2013.

In reaching the last-eight, Li had matched her previous Wimbledon best, achieved in 2006 and 2010.

Results from the eighth day of Wimbledon (x denotes seeded player):

Women's singles:


Sabine Lisicki (GER x23) bt Kaia Kanepi (EST) 6-3, 6-3
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x4) bt Li Na (CHN x6) 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-2
Marion Bartoli (FRA x15) bt Sloane Stephens (USA x17) 6-4, 7-5
Kirsten Flipkens (BEL x20) bt Petra Kvitova (CZE x8) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

Read more on:    wimbledon  |  agnieszka radwanska  |  li na  |  tennis

What To Read Next


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
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk


Novak Djokovic has 12 Grand Slam titles to his name, while Rafael Nadal boasts 15. Roger Federer is currently out in front with 18. When all is said and done, who wins more?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

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


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

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