China'a Li Na put herself back in contention for the US Open after a welcome return to form saw her win the WTA Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on Sunday.
This was her first title since her grand slam breakthrough in Paris last year in June. She also has a new coach over the past weeks - Carlos Rodriguez, the former coach of Justine Henin.
Li Na beat German Angelique Kerber in the final 16 63 61.
"I felt like she was playing unbelievable in the first set. I was trying to play flat and fast, but she had no mistakes and every ball came back to my side," Li told the media. "I tried to change something at the beginning of the second set but it didn't work, but I just kept trying and finally it worked. I'm very happy to win this title and now I'll take two days off - I've played a lot of tennis these two weeks. Last night I was thinking about how I was in three finals this year but never won a title. So I was really hungry for the title today. Also, I was having lunch today and saw Roger after he won, having his photo taken - I really wanted to do the same."
Kerber said, "I was giving it my all and fighting until the last point, but she was just better than me. I had a plan to play aggressively, which I did well in the first set, but then she started playing better and better. I tried to change things but it didn't matter, she had the answers. She was doing everything well."
Kerber will climb to a career best no. 6 in the rankings while Li Na is at no. 9.