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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Li beats Venus to reach Cincinnati final

MASON: China’s Li Na defeated a battling Venus Williams 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 to reach the final of the Cincinnati Open on Saturday after an enthralling two-hour nine minutes encounter.

Li Na defeats battling Venus Williams to reach Cincinnati final

Li will face the winner of the other semifinal between Czech Petra Kvitova and Germany’s Angelique Kerber who were playing later on Saturday.Williams, playing in her first semifinal since the 2010 U.S. Open, looked to have a back problem and was limited in her serve speed which was hovering around a slow 75 mph mark.The American, who has comeback from illness this year, double-faulted on break point to go 3-2 down in the first set but, relying on her return game, she battled back to 5-5.But another crucial double-fault on game point allowed Li to sneak back ahead 6-5 and then wrapup the set.After receiving an on-court massage to her back, Williams roared back in the second set to win five consecutive games en route to taking it 6-3 to level the match.But the exertion of her comeback cost her in the third set where she ran out of energy and was convincingly beaten 6-1 as Li went in for the kill.Li, the ninth seed, is a perfect 5-0 in her semifinal matches this year but has yet to win a final.Reuters

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