MELBOURNE - "Best speech ever" was the universal verdict to Li Na's unscripted thanks at the trophy ceremony after she erased two near-misses at Melbourne Park with a joyous victory in her third Australian Open final on Saturday.
MELBOURNE - China's Li Na banished the ghosts of two Australian Open final defeats by overpowering Dominika Cibulkova on Saturday to win her second major title and give the grand slam of the Asia-Pacific its first Asian singles champion.
MELBOURNE - Li Na's memories of her previous Australian Open finals are not fond ones as she prepares for a third at Melbourne Park on Saturday against first-time finalist Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.
MELBOURNE - Brief biographies of the women's finalists at the 2014 Australian Open on Saturday:
MELBOURNE - Li Na will hope to keep her head in check and feet on the ground during her third Australian Open final after her coach Carlos Rodriguez helped calm her for a thumping victory over teenager Eugenie Bouchard in the semi-finals on Thursday.
- BNP Paribas Open organizers were hopeful that Serena Williams would end a 13-year boycott of the event at Indian Wells when the world number one's name was listed on Wednesday among the entries for this year's edition.
- China's Li Na allowed herself a small smile of satisfaction after she advanced to her fourth Australian Open semi-final on Tuesday, mindful that an inquisition from coach Carlos Rodriguez earlier in the tournament had helped her get there.
MELBOURNE - Women's world number one Serena Williams has held out the possibility of lifting her 13-year boycott of the Indian Wells tournament after being inspired by a movie about Nelson Mandela, the American said at the Australian Open on Friday.
- List of U.S. Open women's singles champions (since tennis turned professional in 1968).
- Factbox on American Serena Williams, who will bid for her 17th grand slam title against Victoria Azarenka at the U.S. Open on Sunday: