Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Serena Williams beat Li Na 7-6 (1), 6-3 at the WTA Championships.
Williams scored her second win in round-robin matches to close in on the semifinals in Istanbul.
The American had six double-faults and won only 51 percent of points on her first serve.
In the first set Li took a 4-1 lead before Williams got into the match and won the next four games.
Serving for the set, Serena was broken but Li was unable to held serve in the following game. Williams had another chance to serve out the set but lost her serve at love. She finally took t5he lead after winning the tie breaker.
Williams took a 4-1 lead in the second set and even she wasted two match points closed it out on her own serve when Li sent a forehand long.
"I started out really strong in the first game but then started making errors, and Li started playing her game and playing it well - that's all," Williams said. "I was a little tight and my serve wasn't working at all today, maybe towards the end - but that's not how I usually play. The good thing is I can only play better."
"My serve just didn't go in. Every time I got my first serve in, I was surprised," Williams said. "But knowing I was able to still, for me, zero serve compared to how I normally serve - I think it's something good I can take out of the match."
At one point, Williams got mad with her serve and smashed her racket.
"No, I don't break rackets in matches. Although I didn't hit it hard," she said. "Maybe I don't know my own strength."
"I know I had a very good beginning of the match, but after I was up maybe I was thinking too much, that I have a chance," Li said. "She had a very good serve in the second set, though. And I tried my best on the court today. I had some chances but wasted them. I hope to do better in my next match tomorrow."
"When I play Serena it's always tough, and especially to play her in your first match of the tournament," Li said. "When you play Serena, you have to focus every second. If you lose concentration for one second, she'll kill you straight away. You have to be really focused - I was like that at the beginning of the match today, and then I slowed down a little bit and she turned it around."
Williams was asked about Li's recent upswing.
"Before winning a Grand Slam she was really hungry and wanted to do well, but she hadn't been able to cross the border, so to say," Williams commented. "But I think now she has a lot of confidence because she has that Grand Slam, she's in history for the rest of her life; she's made so many people proud; she's just playing with no fear."
Photo by AP