Last week at Montreal Li Na lost a tough three-setter to Petra Kvitova in the final, but this week Li made one crucial additional step and went all the way to the Premier-level Western & Southern Open title, lifting the winner’s trophy for the first time since her last year’s French Open triumph, after failing in three finals this season. Could the help of new coach Carlos Rodriguez already be showing results?
Li’s victim in the final was Angelique Kerber, nevertheless, the German has plenty of reasons to celebrate, as last year this time she was playing the qualifying for the International-level Dallas as world No.107, while the Cincinnati result has brought her to No.6 in the world rankings.
In the Sunday’s final, Li found herself 6-1 3-1 down, but in the 24-point eighth game of the second set, after wasting seven break points, Li finally fought her way into turning the match around and from then on she was writing the destiny of the match.
En route to the $385,000 trophy, the ninth-seeded Li defeated Sorana Cirstea in the second round, Johanna Larsson in the third, top seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarterfinals, Venus Williams in the semifinals, and eventually fifth seed Angelique Kerber, who made the biggest upset of the tournament by eliminating Serena Williams in the final eight round. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)