Sports / Tennis

Li Na reaches Australian Open last 16 in four straight years

(Xinhua) Updated: 2013-01-18 11:40

MELBOURNE - Sixth-seeded Chinese Li Na advanced to the fourth round at the Australian Openon Friday with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Sorana Cirstea of Romania.

China's No 1 got an early break against her 27th ranked opponent to go 2-1 ahead and was cruising at 4-1 before she was broken to put the pressure on.

Li Na reaches Australian Open last 16 in four straight years

Li Na of China hits a return to Sorana Cirstea of Romania during their women's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Jan 18, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

The former French Open winner responded by stepping up to break again but her service game let her down once again before she cut down the error rate to take the set.

The Romanian crumbled in the second set, with Li racing through it in just 28 minutes to stay on track to meet Julia Goerges Germany, who beat Zheng Jie 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 earlier Friday, in the fourth quarter for a place in the quarterfinals.

"Before the match I was a little bit nervous because I played her like many, many times. I know she was like shooting the ball like unbelievable. I never know if the ball is in or out. I have to ready for every second." said Li. "But the match was pretty good today. I was feeling more control again on the court. It was much easier than I think."

It is the consecutive fourth time for the 2011 runner-up to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open with a a potential quarter-final showdown with in-form fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

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