Seven months after giving retirement serious thought, Li Na made it third time lucky in an Australian Open final with a 7-6 (3), 6-0 win over Dominika Cibulkova to become the oldest women's champion here in the Open era.
Rafael Nadal continued his dominant streak over Roger Federer to reach the Australian Open final for the third time, beating the 17-time major winner 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-3 Friday night to set up a championship decider against No. 8-seeded Stan Wawrinka.
Stanislas Wawrinka backed up his upset of four-time champion Novak Djokovic by reaching his first Grand Slam final with a 6-3, 7-6 (1), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4) win over Tomas Berdych in the Australian Open semifinals on Thursday.
Soaked with sweat and clinging desperately for survival, Maria Sharapova was only a point from victory when Australian Open organizers finally decided that the searing heat was extreme enough to suspend matches.
Coming from one of China's three "Stove Cities" had its benefits for Li Na on another scorching day at the Australian Open, where she completed back-to-back wins over the two youngest players in the draw to reach the third round.
A rusty Novak Djokovic began his bid for a fourth consecutive Australian Open title on Monday with a win over Lukas Lacko while Serena Williams looked as polished as ever beating Australian teenager Ashleigh Barty.
Venus Williams lost in the first round at the Australian Open for only the second time, with her serve and concentration letting her down when it counted most in a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 defeat to Ekaterina Makarova on Monday
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