Australian Open 2014: Li Na and Dominika Cibulkova into final
Australian Open 2014: Li Na will take on Dominika Cibulkova in the final after both women secure straight-sets wins
Li Na will take on Dominika Cibulkova in the Australian Open final after both women secured straightforward semi-final wins in Melbourne.
China’s Li sealed a dominant win over Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard, wrapping up a 6-2 6-4 victory to reach her third Melbourne final.
It’s like a dream. I will go just out there and play my best, try to do my best
And 20th seed Cibulkova produced an impressive performance to shock Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1 6-2 and reach her first-ever Grand Slam final.
Li, 31, has never won the Melbourne crown despite two previous appearances in the final, and the fourth seed is desperate to go one better this time around.
“Last time was a little bit tough so I will try this time to make one more step,” said Li.
“I think after working with the coach, it’s not only about my technique. I’m playing much stronger on court and more stable from the first point.”
Meanwhile, Bouchard was left to look for the positives after becoming the first Canadian to reach a Grand Slam semi-final in almost 30 years.
“I’m proud of how I’ve improved as a player throughout the tournament, but I’m never satisfied with losing,” said Bouchard. “I’m always disappointed. I always want to go further and do better.”
Slovakia’s Cibulkova admitted her delight at reaching the final of a Major for the first time.
“It’s something beautiful,” said Cibulkova, 24. “It’s like a dream. I will go just out there and play my best, try to do my best.
“I want to be 100 per cent. It will be the biggest match of my life.
But I will not go on the court like that. There is no pressure. I’m playing a final, so there is nothing better.”
Radwanska added: “I felt like I was in slow motion. I had a couple of tough matches and I think I was not fresh enough.
“She played well in the whole tournament, but I think I spent twice as many hours as her on court.”