Caroline Wozniacki exits the Australian Open with her world number one ranking intact, but her semi-final surrender to China's Li Na will stand as another missed opportunity to silence her critics with grand slam success.
The 20-year-old Dane dominated for the better part of two sets on Thursday, but crumbled when serving for the match to allow confidence player Li to grind out the win 3-6 7-5 6-3 at Rod Laver Arena.
"I still had chances even after I lost that match point. I was serving, I had opportunities to go 6-6 (in the second set)," said a downcast Wozniacki, whose lone grand slam final ended with defeat to Belgian Kim Clijsters at the U.S. Open.
"If you don't take your chances, yeah, you lose the match. That's what happened today. One ball could make a big difference.
"I could have been sitting here as the winner. But could have, would have, if I would have done something different.
"Right now, of course it's a bit disappointing. I just need to get through this one. I need to get back on the practice court and keep working hard and I'm sure I'll have more chances in the future."
Wozniacki grew tired of media questions about her number one ranking and ran her own post-match news conference after reaching the fourth round.
The ebullient Dane later concocted a tale about a kangaroo scratching, after worrying that media had thought her measured responses boring.
On Thursday, the accusation was that her game was too boring, after failing to land a killer blow and then not lifting the aggression in the third set to match the feisty Chinese.
"I don't know. I don't really think about that," Wozniacki said. "I was just trying to keep on going.
"I was trying to take one ball at a time, and that's it. That wasn't enough today, so, you know, it's just bad luck.
"I will come back. Just need to have an hour or two and I'll be back and on the right track again."
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