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Li Na advances to Australian Open semifinals

  • Li Na of China reaches for a shot to Flavia Pennetta of Italy during their quarterfinal at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

    Li Na of China reaches for a shot to Flavia Pennetta of Italy during their quarterfinal at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

  • Flavia Pennetta of Italy makes a backhand return to Li Na of China  during their quarterfinal at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Flavia Pennetta of Italy makes a backhand return to Li Na of China during their quarterfinal at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

  • Li Na of China reaches for a shot to Flavia Pennetta of Italy during their quarterfinal at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
  • Flavia Pennetta of Italy makes a backhand return to Li Na of China  during their quarterfinal at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Two-time finalist Li Na stayed in contention for another Australian Open title match after beating Flavia Pennetta, 6-2, 6-2, today to advance to the semifinals at Melbourne Park.

After beating two 16-year-olds in the opening rounds and saving a match point against Lucie Safarova in the third, Li was relentless in defeating the 28th-seeded Pennetta, who buried her face in her towel during a changeover while trailing 5-0 in the opening set.

Li, who lost to Victoria Azarenka in the 2013 final and to Kim Clijsters in 2011, will next play the winner of the later quarterfinal between Ana Ivanovic of Serbia and Eugenie Bouchard of Canada.

Azarenka, who is attempting to win her third consecutive title here, plays her quarterfinal match against Agnieszka Radwanska tomorrow.

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