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Victoria Azarenka - Li Na Live

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Nationality Player Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5
BelarusV Azarenka466--
ChinaN Li643--

Live Comments

  1. - - We will be back same time tomorrow for Andy Murray's final against world number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic so join us again then

  2. - - So that ends a hugely dramatic final in Melbourne with Victoria Azarenka having successfully defended her title from last year. She will also remain the world number one for at least another week.

  3. - - Azarenka is in absolutely floods of tears, tears of relief, as the reality of retaining her Australian Open title and also the world number one title

  4. - - AZARENKA 4-6 6-4 6-3 - The world number one gets a second serve to look at after an first serve long from Li. She gets the second serve back deep into play and Li can only send her response long to hand Azarenka the title

  5. - - GAME, SET & MATCH AZARENKA!!

  6. - - Li earns herself a game point with a cross court forehand winner that goes back behind the recovering Azarenka but puts a low backhand into the bottom of the net to allow the Belarusian to level at deuce. And an inside-out forehand wide across from Li hands Azarenka a FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP POINT...

  7. - - Li belts a forehand long to hand Azarenka the first point of the game before levelling up with a backhand winner down the line. Li then sneaks ahead with a cross court backhand passing shot winner across court but Azarenka levels with a cross court forehand winner. This is high quality stuff now. Finally. 30-30.

  8. - - AZARENKA 4-6 6-4 5-3 - Li stumbles a little in the middle of the point and is obviously struggling more and more with that left ankle. But she gets on with it and earns herself a break back point with a defensive lob that Azarenka waits and waits and waits to hit, only to put it into the net. The chance goes begging when Li thumps an attacking backhand return long down the line and Azarenka holds. Li will have to serve to stay in this match next...

  9. - - AZARENKA 4-6 6-4 4-3- Azarenka lands a blistering return of serve right on the line to take the first point of the game before Li storms back with three cracking first serves in a row. The world number one denies her on the first with some great length hitting but the Chinese does hold on the second attempt with a backhand winner

  10. - - AZARENKA 4-6 6-4 4-2 - Azarenka marches through a love service hold to consolidate the break. She has a look in her eye now, Azarenka, that suggests she is done with this match and clearly wants this match to be over before anymore drama can affect proceedings.

  11. - - AZARENKA 4-6 6-4 3-2 - BREAK! Azarenka thinks she has broken again with a forehand winner but the ball was called out while she was yelling "come on". She challenges and is proven correct but there's another moment of drama when Alison Lang says the point should be replayed. Azarenka disagrees that Li had a play on the ball and does well to reign in her temper and walk away from an arguement as the crowd boo her. Justice is done on the replay though as Azarenka secures the break with a forehand

  12. - - AZARENKA 4-6 6-4 2-2 - Li riffles a backhand return of serve winner across court and into the corner to bring up another break point. Azarenka saves it with an incredibly well-produced point, testing Li's ankle as she pushed her wide to the forehand side before coming up with a backhand winner across the court. And the Belarusian goes on to hold with another great point and forehand winner down the line

  13. - - Li Na will continue again and is smiling as the farcical nature of procesdings as she heads back to the baseline to resume. She already had about 80 per cent of the crowd support but by the noise from the crowd as she walks back on to court, she now has about 95 per cent of the crowd support

  14. - - There will be another injury time-out now, which will be to the head rather than the ankle. Remember she has already had an injury timeout so she is not allowed another for that same injury. They are assessing the head and neck this time though

  15. - - In the very first point of the re-start, Li has slipped again. It seems to be the same ankle that is the problem although she also seems to have hit her head on the court as she went down. The trainer and the doctor are on and they are giving her an assessment on her head first, then they will move on to the ankle

  16. - - We are ready to re-join this match then with Azarenka serving at 1-2 down in the final set...

  17. - - Azarenka is taking the delay for the fireworks as a good opportunity to take an injury timeout. Not exactly sure what the issue is for the world number one but she is going off the court with the tournament physio

  18. - - Here we go then. Here's the 10-minute delay for the Australia Day fireworks. It's conveniently coming during a change of ends anyway, but will further delay the match obviously

  19. - - AZARENKA 4-6 6-4 1-2 - A couple of much better points from Li as she finds consecutive winners before Azarenka hits into the net to help the Chinese player to three game points. A badly mis-timed forehand from Li, into the net, squanders the first but she does hold at the second attempt to sneak out in front for the first time in this final set

  20. - - AZARENKA 4-6 6-4 1-1 - BREAK! Li puts a backhand down the line into the net to hand Azarenka a game point to consolidate the break. But the Belarusian can't take advantage of it and hits long on consecutive points to hand Li a break back point. A fourth double fault from Azarenka hands Li the break back

  21. - - AZARENKA 4-6 6-4 1-0 - BREAK! Li quickly finds herself 0-30 down on serve before finally finding the right length with her shots to get off the mark in the game. But she puts in another shocking error, a wild cross court forehand well wide, to hand Azarenka two more break points. And Azarenka does break, moving up the court to a shorter ball and drilling a forehand across court

  22. - - AZARENKA 4-6 6-4 - SET! Azarenka eases through a very comfortable service hold, sealing the set to love with a big first serve that Li cannot return in play. That was a very business-like two games from the world number to level up this match and force the deciding set

  23. - - AZARENKA 4-6 5-4 - BREAK! Great reserves of character to quickly earn herself two more break points to re-establish the break advantage with some great length hitting. And sure enough she does break at the first attempt when Li sends a forehand sailing long of the baseline again. Azarenka will serve for the second set after the change of ends

  24. - - AZARENKA 4-6 4-4 - BREAK! Azarenka attempts a sliced backhand drop shot but puts the ball well short into the net to hand Li two more break points. The first goes begging when Li mis-hits her backhand return long and sends the ball sailing long of the baseline. But she does get the break back at the second attempt when Azarenka puts a backhand of her own long. Li is back on level terms

  25. - - AZARENKA 4-6 4-3 - Li's concentration has completely gone as she has a word with umpire Alison Lang to ask the crowd to be quiet. The trouble is, it's her supporters who are making the noise. But anyway, Li hits another error to hand Azarenka two more break points. The Chinese player saves the first with a great backhand onto the line, Azarenka returning it wide, and then also the second when Azarenka sends a backhand return long. And Li recovers to go on and hold

  26. - - AZARENKA 4-6 4-2 - Absolutely no worries about Li's ankle at all now as she races around the baseline to earn herself three more break back points. Azarenka saves the first with an angled backhand winner across court (only her second backhand winner of the match) and the second with a forehand winner across court after Li's ball hit the top of the net and sat up. Li squanders the third with a backhand into the net when she only had open court to aim at. And Azarenka holds with a forehand winner

  27. - - AZARENKA 4-6 3-2 - Not too many signs of impaired movement from Li in the final two points of the game as she comes back from that injury timeout to batter first a forehand winner across court to bring up a game point, and then a backhand winner across court to seal the hold

  28. - - Li has had the left ankle taped and will continue...

  29. - - Li takes a nasty tumble on the baseline, it's her left leg that is the problem (she's had left knee issues in the past). She is very slow to get up and does not want to put weight on it, immediately calling for the trainer. By the time the trainer comes on to the court, she is walking slightly better back to the chair but that looked pretty painful

  30. - - AZARENKA 4-6 3-1 - BREAK! A shockingly poor forehand from Azarenka whistles long of the baseline, well long of the baseline to hand Li two break points to get one of the breaks back. She only needs one though, stepping inside the baseline and rattling a backhand across court for the winner

  31. - - AZARENKA 4-6 3-0 - BREAK! Li is all over the place now and Azarenka's consistency is starting to frustrate her. She sends a cross court forehand sailing well wide of the tramlines, not just into them but wide of them, to hand Azarenka another break (this time to 15) and surely this match is distined for a third set now?

  32. - - AZARENKA 4-6 2-0 - Azarenka fails to take advantage of a game point, to consolidate the break, by sending a forehand wide across court before slapping down a double fault to hand Li an immediate break back point. But she recovers well, finding a huge first serve to save it before going on to hold and cement that early break. That's just the fourth hold of serve in this match - two to Li and now two to Azarenka

  33. - - AZARENKA 4-6 1-0 - BREAK! Li looks to be cruising towards a fairly comfortable service game to open the second set only to let Azarenka right back in it with a couple of errors, a bakchand wide allowing the Belarusian to level at deuce before a forehand into the net hands Azarenka a break point. And it is yet another break as Li sends a inside-out backhand across court. There is a hushed silence around Rod Laver Arena at the moment, nothing to really sink their teeth into as yet

  34. - - AZARENKA 4-6 - SET! Again Li fails to take advantage, hitting long, as she also does on a third set point. But Azarenka sends a forehand sailing long of the baseline to gift Li a fourth chance. And this time she is handed the first set on a plate, Azarenka putting in a very poor double fault. What a poor way to lose the set.

  35. - - After consecutive ground-stroke errors, first a forehand long and then a backhand well wide, Li frames a forehand return of serve and watches as it goes for the perfect winner angle across court. It brings up a set point but fails to take it, instead hitting long. Azarenka produces a superb cross court forehand of her own, at full stretch, to earn herself a game point only for Li to save it and earn another set point..

  36. - - AZARENKA 4-5 - BREAK! Two much more metronomic points from Azarenka end with Li hitting into the net. It is quickly followed by a backhand approach shot long from Li to hand the Belarusian three break back points. Li saves the first with a cross court backhand winner right into the corner of the court but Azarenka does break at the second attempt with some length hitting that eventually draws the error from Li. We're back on serve, albeit with Azarenka still serving to stay in the set

  37. - - AZARENKA 3-5 - Azarenka finally posts her first service hold, battering down a couple of great first serves as she drops just the one point in the game. There is a sense now that Azarenka is finally starting to find some rhythm and it forces Li to serve out this opening set

  38. - - AZARENKA 2-5 - We have the first challenge of the day as Azarenka calls on hawkeye to try and overturn a backhand down the line that was called out. But she is out of luck as the ball landed just wide. And Li goes on to hold to love with a forehand right onto the baseline that Azarenka can only put back into the net. That's just the second hold of the match and it leaves Azarenka serving to stay in the set after the change of ends

  39. - - AZARENKA 2-4 - BREAK! Another great return - this time from Li - earns another break point. The Chinese player launches herself over the baseline into a backhand return, causing problems for Azarenka, who hits into the net to hand Li three more break points. The first goes begging when Li hits a regulation forehand long of the baseline. But a blistering backhand down the line from Li goes for a winner and secures the break again at the second time of asking

  40. - - AZARENKA 2-3 - BREAK! Another backhand wide, also across court, from Li hands Azarenka a break back point. The Belarusian leaps all over the chance, and also the serve of Li; stepping well inside the baseline to drill a backhand return over the net. And she has the break back when Li, still recovering from her service motion, can only put her reply into the bottom of the net

  41. - - A smart body serve from Li quickly followed be an ace, her first out wide, bring up a game point to consolidate the break. But she plays an absolutely horrific forehand drive volley that draws chuckles from the crowd when it lands four metres long of the baseline. Deuce. Li recovers calmly, moving inside the baseline to riffle a forehand winner across the court but again she can't take advantage of her game point, sending a cross court backhand wide. Back to deuce.

  42. - AZARENKA 1-3 - BREAK!- Li is beginning to strike the ball much harder now as Azarenka is unable to cope with consecutive forehands down the line, putting both of her responses into the net, to hand the Chinese another break point. And break she does, Li punishing Azarenka for her 83mph second serve with a cracking backhand return that the Belarusian can only return long

  43. - - AZARENKA 1-2 - Li throws in another double fault to flirt with danger before bringing up a game point with another forehand winner. She can't take advantage of it though, hitting into the net, but she gets a second chance after a forehand wide from Azarenka. And this time she does go on to hold when the Belarusian puts a forehand return of serve into the bottom of the net

  44. - - AZARENKA 1-1 - BREAK! The downside of being gifted the break so easily for Azarenka in that opening game is that it didn't really give her the chance to settle either. No double faults from the world number one in her opening service game but her ground-strokes are just as tight as Li's as she slaps a couple of unforced errors. That combined with a forehand winner from Li bring up an immediate break back point. And sure enough she gets it when Azarenka hits long

  45. - - AZARENKA 1-0 - BREAK! Li opens with a nervy-looking double fault before battering a forehand winner down the line, much to the delight of the crowd who, as expected, are firmly taking her side for this clash. The Chinese sneaks ahead with a decent forehand that Azarenka can only return into the net but a forehand long from Li gifts the Belarusian an early break point. And another double fault concedes that serve. Very tight from Li

  46. - - The players are just about ready to go. Azarenka won the toss and elected to receive, so it will be Li Na to get things underway by serving first...

  47. - - It's another fairly cool evening in Melbourne today, with temperatures around about 16-17 degrees. No thermal undershirt for the ladies, a la Roger Federer in last night's semi-final against Andy Murray, but Azarenka is playing with some knee length leggings on under her dress

  48. - - The toss of the coin and photos with the mascot over and done with, there is just the warm-up left to go before this clash gets underway...

  49. - - The players are ready and waiting in the corridors underneath Rod Laver Arena - Li, in front, calmly doing a few stretches to her shoulders. Azarenka, in the background, with her headphones in, her hood up and dancing around and generally going through her usual, slightly agressive, pre-match routine

  50. - - One things is for sure, the Melbourne crowd have not taken too kindly to the Belarusian despite her being their defending champion. Quite apart from the controversial injury time-out in that semi-final, the crowd at Melbourne Park frequently mimick Azarenka's squeal when she hits the ball and jeer when she loses her temper, something that is not uncommon for the 23-year-old. Azarenka, however, is unperturbed and has said she is completely expecting to be jeered during today's match. Azarenka ready to be jeered in final

  51. - - Azarenka was accused of gamesmanship after her semi-final victory over American teenager Sloane Stephens. Having just squandered five match points, the world number one, dogged by injury throughout her career, took a lengthy injury timeout as she struggled to breathe in the sweltering heat. Was it cheating or justifiable bending of the rules. Or do you think it was completely fair enough as she was struggling? Read our blog on the issue.

  52. - - Or why not get in touch on Twitter with you predictions and opinions about this match. Follow on Twitter @pippawdavis.

  53. - - Don't forget that you can watch this final LIVE in full (as well as the men's final tomorrow) on the Eurosport Player. Just click here to subscribe.

  54. - - Okay, that's enough stats to hurt anyone's head.

  55. - - Only three of those nine meetings have gone the distance and needed a third set to decide them, including two of their clashes last year - Sydney and Madrid. In their most recent match - at the WTA Championships in Istanbul at the end of last year - Azarenka emerged the victor 7-6(4) 6-3

  56. - - Concerningly for Li, however, is the fact that Azarenka has triumphed in each of their last four meetings, indlucing Sydney, Madrid and the WTA Championships last year. In fact you have to go all the way back to the fourth round of the 2011 Australian Open to find Li's last win over Azarenka.

  57. - - Azarenka and Li have faced each other nine times before with Azarenka narrowly leading the head-to-heads by five wins to four, so there is not a lot to choose between the players in that respect.

  58. - - If Azarenka wins, however, she will become the eighth player in the open era to have successfully defend her women's Australian Open title - the other's being Margaret Court (69-71, Evonne Goolagong Cawley (74-76), Steffi Graf (88-90), Monica Seles (91-93), Martina Hingis (97-99), Jennifer Capriati (01-02) and, most recently, Serena Williams (09-10).

  59. - - The winner of this title will become just the fifth active player to have won two of more Grand Slam titles, joining Serena (15) and Venus (7), Maria Sharapova (4) and Svetlana Kuznetsova (2).

  60. - - The world number one ranking is also on the line for Azarenka today. If she wins she retains the top spot when the new rankings are released on Monday. But if Li wins, Serena Williams will return to the top of the world instead. No matter what happens today for Li, she is assured a return to the top five on Monday, moving up one place from six to five.

  61. - - This is a third Grand Slam final for both of these players and would be a second victory for both as well; Azarenka lifting the Daphne Akhurst trophy last year as we've already mentioned (before going on to lose to Serena Williams in the US Open final last year), while Li Na won the French Open back in 2011 (having been defeated by Kim Clijsters in Melbourne earlier that same year).

  62. - - It's Australia Day today so expect a party atmosphere in the stands and also, if the match continues on that long, a pause in proceedings for the traditional Australia Day fireworks. They usually happen around 8.30/9ish from memory, but we will keep you updated on that.

  63. - - This one is being contested between world number one and defending champion Victoria Azarenka and sixth seeded former finalist Li Na.

  64. - - Hello and welcome to the 2013 Australian Open women's final.

Victoria Azarenka

Nationality BLR
Date of Birth 31/07/1989
Height 1.83 m
Weight 66 kg

Na Li

Nationality CHN
Date of Birth 26/02/1982
Height 1.72 m
Weight 65 kg

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