Li Na roars back to defeat Safarova to reach women's Rogers Cup final | iNFOnews

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Li Na roars back to defeat Safarova to reach women's Rogers Cup final

Li Na from China returns to Lucie Safarova from the Czech Republic during semi-final play at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Montreal, Sunday, August 12, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
August 12, 2012 - 3:39 PM

MONTREAL - Li Na used a third-set comeback to defeat Lucie Safarova and advance to the final of the US$2.17 women's Rogers Cup.

Safarova led 5-1 in the final set but then fell apart as 10th-seeded Li won 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in an error-filled semifinal on Sunday at Uniprix Stadium.

The second semifinal with fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova against 2010 champion and seventh seed Caroline Wozniacki is slated to begin at 5 p.m. ET.

The final is to be played Monday night.

Li extended a six-match winning streak against Safarova dating to 2009 and is now 6-1 in her career against the 25-year-old Czech.

There was little for the crowd to cheer in a match with few long exchanges and many unforced errors. The lefthander Safarova hit some sweet forehands down the line in the first set, but Li got her first serve going in the second to tie the match.

Safarova looked to have the match locked up in the third, but then lost the range on her serve and her groundstrokes and watched Li win six games in a row.

There were sections of the grandstands nearly empty of spectators at centre court despite a rare sunny day this week, a sign the event lacks the buzz of previous years going head-to-head with the London Olympics.

Li was coming off consecutive wins over top-opponents in Agnieszka Radwanska and Sara Errani.

None of the semifinalists has won a tournament this year.

Safarova had lost in the first round of her last two events — Wimbledon and the Olympics.

The 16th-seeded Safarova had already surpassed her best Rogers Cup performance by reaching the semifinal. The world No. 23 from the Czech Republic is now expected to crack the top 20.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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