One Williams sister won and one Williams sister fell on Wednesday at the Australian Open, where the elder Venus’ slide against lower-ranked opponents continued.
World No. 1 Serena Williams fought off a 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 challenge from No. 7 seed Victoria Azarenka, but the No. 6-seeded Venus was unable to do likewise against China’s Na Li, falling to the No. 16 seed 2-6, 7-6(4), 7-5.
“I’m just happy to still be here,” said Serena after being a set and 4-0 down in the second before reeling off five straight games. “I wasn’t playing my best, especially in the first two sets. I definitely think I played well in the third, I was down the whole match from the first point until the end. So I was surprised. I was definitely shocked to win.”
Venus, by contrast, featured in a match where she and her opponent combined for more than 100 unforced errors. The elder Williams sister had a chance to serve out the match before succumbing to Li.
“In tennis you have to close it out,” Venus said. “It’s not like there’s a clock ticking and then suddenly it’s over. You just have to close it out. I didn’t do that today.”
Li joined Zheng Jie, making for two Chinese players in the semis of a Slam for the first time ever.
“Right now you can see many media from China right here,” Li said. “Also, they show the match and live. So after the match I get 20 text messages from friends because they saw the match. I don’t know how it is in China right now. I was feeling maybe tennis in China right now bigger and bigger.”
Thursday will feature both women’s semifinals in (1) Serena Williams vs. (16) Na Li, and a battle of the unseeded in Justine Henin vs. Jie Zheng.
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