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Li Na beats Kerber to win Cincinnati title

Updated: 2012-08-20 09:29
( Agencies/chinadaily.com.cn)

MASON, Ohio - China's Li Na fought back to beat German Angelique Kerber 1-6 6-3 6-1 and win the Cincinnati Open title on Sunday, ending her 15-month title drought after last year's French Open triumph.

Li Na beats Kerber to win Cincinnati title

Li Na of China holds up the championship trophy after defeating Angelique Kerber of Germany at the women's Cincinnati Open tennis tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio, Aug 19, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

The victory was the 30-year-old's sixth career title and ends her run of three defeats in finals this year, including a loss to Petra Kvitova in Montreal last week.

The victory also comes after Li teamed up with Justine Henin's former coach Carlos Rodriguez earlier this week.

Li won nine straight games from a set and a game down to win the second set and then take a 3-0 lead in the third.

Kerber, looking for her third title this year, appeared shell-shocked by the turnaround and hampered by a leg injury and was in tears during discussions with her coach.

The win was crucial for the No 10 seed to regain her confidence and form after an unpleasant Olympic trip in London.

Li lost her first-round Olympic singles match to Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia and also fell early in the doubles competition with compatriot Zhang Shuai as they crashed 6-3, 6-1 to Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic in the last 16.

Li, squandering possibly her last Olympics, said she was aware of the importance of the Olympics and admitted she was not at her best in London.

She finished fourth at the Beijing Games four years ago.