Li Na: The “Nail” in Sharapova’s Australian Open Coffin

James Crabtree is currently in Melbourne Park covering the Australian Open for Tennis Grandstand and is giving you all the scoop directly from the grounds.

By James Crabtree

MELBOURNE — Conflicting with popular opinion The Great Wall of China is alive, travels extensively and has a broad sense of humour.

Maria Sharapova met the wall Thursday, and attempted to use all her artillery to beat it. In fact, Li Na defence was better than just a wall. The Russian champion, who is known to hit the ball harder than anyone, only served to hit something that would be absorbed then sent back with interest.

Sharapova, perhaps relishing her fortune and thinking towards a final that wouldn’t include Serena Williams, started horribly. The first points on Sharapova’s serve went to Na as back to back double faults. In contrast Li Na started reliably, not giving any points away. The next few games were close and if you weren’t paying attention you wouldn’t have realised that Na had raced out to a 4-1 lead.

This was the wrong script. Sharapova, who had barely lost a game all tournaments, was now losing games. In contrast Li Na was beating a player she had lost her last three meetings with.

The Russian showed a brief reprisal by securing the next game on a wild Na forehand, and the Russian attack seemed imminent.

The cavalry never came, with Sharapova’s inability to play smart tennis that included variations in pace and angle. Na rounded out the set on an easy service game.

The second set started with more of a tussle. Sharapova served well and the score line was a much more even 2-2, with Chris Evert predicting a victory for the Russian, via twitter.

Still, Na’s game plan was solid. A strategy that may have been inspired by her new coach Carlos Rodriguez, and Justine Henin’s former.

Just like the first set Li Na was winning the tough points, the longer rallies and all the important deuce and advantage points. All the games were furthering her lead.

There was to be no Sharapova comeback predicted by Evert. All in all this was a tough and tense encounter that did not reflect a 6-2 6-2 score-line. It was however Li Na’s day, literally, in the sun.

The stats rarely lie. Sharapova had 17 winners and 32 unforced errors whilst Na had a much more even 21 winners and 18 unforced errors. “Today, as I said, I felt like I had my fair share of opportunities. It’s not like they weren’t there. I just couldn’t take them today.” Sharapova stated after her loss.

Sharapova’s conceded twelve games today. In the five matches prior she conceded a total of nine.

Nobody would have predicted Serena Williams and Maria Sharpova to lose in consecutive days.

After the match Li Na thanked the crowd, whom are quickly considering her part of the family. She added she “always plays well in Melbourne,” a fact that is becoming more apparent every year. A fact that would work well in her favour Saturday against Azarenka, a player she has lost her last four meetings with.

26 Responses to Li Na: The “Nail” in Sharapova’s Australian Open Coffin

  • The_Observer says:

    The only person that would have provided any sort of competition for the improved, on-form Li Na would have been a fit Serena Williams. As it is, Li Na is going to be the oldest AO winner in a long time by beating a doubtful Victoria Azarenka.

  • this link says:

    I simply want to mention I am just newbie to weblog and definitely liked your blog. Almost certainly I’m going to bookmark your blog . You surely have outstanding article content. Kudos for sharing your web site.

  • Just want to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness in your
    submit is simply nice and i can think you are an expert on this
    subject. Fine along with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep up to date with approaching post.
    Thank you one million and please keep up the rewarding work.

  • I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. appreciate it

  • like this says:

    Of showing which means right behind the jewellery on the recipient, you should prove that you are making time for their particular:source, type. Usually do not get high-priced and indulgent sections women this if you want a more very little take a look. Hunt for uncomplicated layouts which are together customary and chic. A gorgeous pair of pearl or possibly diamonds earrings would definitely please much more practical flavors. People with vivid individualities is likely to rely on fun designs that could come around bolder sizes and colors. Major basketball hoop earring can be hugely handy but pleasure. Living space and teens normally treasure gift ideas of knickknack, as well. Seek out portions that happen to be sort of little and therefore are befitting for youthful style in addition to

  • Necessary Details Of Intrauterine Insemination Uncovered at::

  • Hey there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing a few
    months of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any methods to prevent hackers?

    Stop by my weblog game interesting

  • raw cat food says:

    I was curious if you ever considered changing the layout of
    your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect
    with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only
    having 1 or two pictures. Maybe you could space
    it out better?

  • I absolutely love your blog and find most of your post’s to
    be just what I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content for you personally?
    I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write with regards to here.
    Again, awesome web site!

  • I am really thankful to the holder of this website who has
    shared this impressive article at at this place.

  • Hi there! This post could not be written any
    better! Going through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He constantly kept talking about this. I’ll send this
    information to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  • What’s up, I read your blog regularly. Your story-telling style is
    witty, keep doing what you’re doing!

  • Regardless of my escalating frustration every single time I
    operate out of life and the feeling of falling even more and further more at the rear of, I have
    turn out to be progressively knowledgeable of the added benefits of participating
    in this video game. You’re likely to have to obvious it all out finally, so you might as well commence at the base.
    The game’s design and style is vivid and there is a not so critical tale line.

    My homepage … star girl hack

  • It’s awesome to go to see this website and reading the views of all friends concerning this piece of writing, while I am also eager of getting knowledge.

  • I want to to thank you for this fantastic read!! I certainly enjoyed every little bit of it.
    I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post…

  • Lavive Eye says:

    WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for acne facials

  • I’d like to find out more? I’d care to find out more details.

  • Do you have a spam isshe on this blog; I also am a blogger,
    and I was wondering your situation; we have developed
    some nice practices and we are looking to exchange solutions with other folks, be sure
    to shoot me an email if interested.

    Look into my web site: paid for online surveys

  • Hi, just wanted to say, I loved this blog post.
    It was funny. Keep on posting!

  • Hi there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with
    hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up
    losing many months of hard work due to no data backup.
    Do you have any methods to protect against hackers?

  • This is the perfect site for everyone who hopes
    to find out about this topic. You understand a
    whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa).
    You definitely put a fresh spin on a subject
    that’s been discussed for many years. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

  • What’s up, I read your new stuff daily. Your humoristic style is awesome, keep up the good work!

  • Hi, this weekend is good for me, for the reason that this time i am reading this
    enormous educational piece of writing here at my home.

  • I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently.
    I am quite sure I will learn a lot of new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  • I constantly emailed this website post page to
    all my associates, since if like to read it then my links will too.

  • Recognizing I had just thrown absent an full working day participating in a game, I hit the
    delete button. As of this report, just one of the most well known applications or game titles on the internet
    looks to be non-existant for the pill machine.
    Midas – Player, which is improved regarded as King — the emblem and name that
    shows up when the mobile application is started off — is in fact executing so, according to a Tuesday report in the Wall Street Journal.

    my weblog – heroes charge hack 2015

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>