Li Na fought back from a 1-5 deficit in the third and deciding set to register her sixth straight win over Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic on Sunday, to enter the final of the Rogers Cup. The 10th seed prevailed 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in an hour and 55 minutes and will take on the winner of the second semi-final between Petra Kvitova and Caroline Wozniacki, who will be in action later today.
In the perfect roller-coaster ride for both players who had not lost a set in the entire tournament, it was Safarova’s nerves which eventually led to her downfall, while Li’s helped her to pull through.
After no break point opportunities for either player in the first seven games of the opening set, Safarova managed to get herself a couple as Li hit a forehand wide in her next service game. The 10th seed duly obliged with her second double fault of the match and Safarova held serve comfortably to clinch the set 6-3 in 30 minutes.
However, Li was quick to turn things around in the second set as she broke her opponent's serve early on and rallied to win three games in a row for a 4-1 lead. Games then went with serve and Li closed out the set 6-3, the score by which Safarova won the first, with a powerful backhand cross-court pass.
Safarova saved two break points in the third game of the third set to hold serve and managed to win four games in a row to take a 5-1 lead, but a string of errors from the 25-year old southpaw with the finishing line within touching distance allowed Li to win six games on the trot and seal a place in the final.