Despite an erratic play, filled with many unforced errors, Serena Williams managed to edge out China’s Li Na, the defending champion, to book a final place in the Cincinnati masters, in two straight sets.
It was her first final in the tournament. And she reached it the hard way, having to stage a come-back in the two sets.
The world number one, who has claimed 15 titles in the last 16 months and is bidding for her ninth this season, will play either second-seeded Victoria Azarenka or former world number one Jelena Jankovic of Serbia.
Li ended the tie in unfortunate fashion, double-faulting on a set point in the first and again on match point in the second.
The two sets were a mirror-image of each other.
In the first set, Serena ceded 4-2 lead to allow Li Na race ahead at 5-4. But with Li Na serving for the set, Serena stepped up her game to break her and then seized the lead to close up the set at 7-5.
She was helped by Li Na’s own erratic plays as well and a string of double faults.
The second set went the same way.
The finals in the men’s competition will be played by Rafael Nadal of Spain and John Isner of USA. Isner beat Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (11/9), 6-3, while Nadal beat Tomas Berdych 7-5, 7-6(7-4).
Juan Martin del Potro had double-faulted on match point to open the door for American John Isner, who turned the tide and triumphed in three sets in the semi-final on Saturday.
Nadal fired 38 winners against Berdych, who ousted Wimbledon champion and current world number two Andy Murray in the quarter-finals.
Apart from six double faults in the second set, world number three Nadal had little to complain about in victory, his 52nd match win of the season.
He is unbeaten on hardcourts, having won the title at Indian Wells in March before his Montreal win.
Nadal came back 18 hours after beating Roger Federer in their marquee quarter-final.
“I have adapted well here,” said the Spaniard. “I played a great match with Roger and today I felt I also played well, even if I was a bit streaky with the serve.
“It was a challenge for me today. I never dreamed of this kind of a comeback,” said the player who is now in a position to move back to second in the world behind Novak Djokovic if he wins the trophy.
“It’s just unbelievable the way I have come back to be number one in the season points race. I missed the Australian Open, Miami and lost in the Wimbledon first round and still did it,” Nadal said.
Source: PM News
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