Li Na, of China, reacts after losing a point to Serena Williams during the semifinals of the 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, in New York. [Photo: Imagine China]
World number six Li Na of China failed to advance to her second Grand Slam final in the season after losing to No. 1 seed Serena Williams of the United States 6-0, 6-3 in the US Open here on Friday.
Li Na missed the chance to have a second Grand Slam show after reaching the final of the Australian Open earlier this season. The 31-year-old Chinese had reached at least quarter-final in three of the four Grand Slams in 2013.
"I have a more stable season this year," said Li about her 2013 WTA journey. "No matter if I win a match or lose one, I always want to improve."
"I hope next season I can do better."
The first set was totally under the dominance of Williams. The winner of 16 Grand Slam titles converted all three break points to beat Li 6-0, another clean sweep after she overwhelmed Spaniard Suarez Navarron 6-0, 6-0 in the quarter-final.
"I got a little nervous, but I was able to close it out, finally," said Williams.
Li tried hard to recover from the second set. She held her own serve in the second game, winning her first game in the match, and then broke Williams' service game to get 2-1 lead. However, Li failed to take chance to extend the lead to 3-1 when she was 40-0 in the fourth game. Williams managed to accomplish another break to level the score to 2-2.
The world number one was difficult to play against when she got her rhythm. She took three straight games to make a 5-2 lead.
The Chinese top female player saved as many as six match points in the eighth game of the second set. However, Williams served out the match 6-3 in the ninth.
"In the end, finally I can play tennis," said Li.
Last four placing was the best record for Li in her U.S. Open participation history.
"Today it doesn't matter who is the opponent. Problem is myself, because today I cannot face the problem," said Li.
"Even today I was playing against maybe the ranking 100, still the same problem, you know."
Williams managed to win her six U.S. Open matches with 12 sets, in which she only lost 16 games. She had a 24-game winning streak, beginning from the second set in her victory over Sloane Stephens until the 1-0 second set lead over Li.
She was trying to become the first female singles player to win U.S. Open title without dropping a set since 2008, in which Williams herself accomplished the difficult task.
Williams would face Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, the same opponent in last year's final, to fight for her 17th Grand Slam title on Sunday.1 2 3 4 5 6