Monday, August 20, 2012

2012 CINCY: Li Na Wins 1st Title in 15 Months

Li Na won her first WTA title in over 15 months by defeating Angelique Kerber 1-6 6-3 6-1 in the finals of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio on Sunday. It was Li's first title since she won the 2011 French Open title, and it came in her 4th WTA tour final of 2012.

After being blown out by the lefty German in the first set, Li received on-court coaching from Carlos Rodrigues (the former coach of Justine Henin) and was able to come back from a break down in the second set to clinch the middle set by following her brand new coach's direction (use more topspin). They key point of the match was an interminable game at 3-4 which lasted some two dozen minutes where Li had more than a handful of breakpoints, saved by incredible defense by Kerber. Eventually, Li did garner the break and the German was basically mentally exhausted and proceeded to lose the next 5 games, going down 0-4 in the deciding set. This was quite a surprise because Kerber has one of the best three-set records on the WTA tour. Li closed out the match by breaking Kerber at love when a lefty forehand flew feet over the baseline.

Li must be happy to have ended her title drought right before the US Open starts one week from today, since hardcourts are her best surface.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin