Friday, January 29, 2010

Semi-final action - Day 11

Two contrasting women's semi-finals were played out on Thursday afternoon in Melbourne. Two unheralded Chinese players had the possibility of meeting in the final of the Grand Slam of Asia and the Pacific, but they were up against two champions of the game, in Serena Williams and Justine Henin.

First up was Li Na, who had beaten Venus to get here, and would have to beat sister Serena, the defending champion, to progress further. It was an extremely close match which was ultimately decided by two tiebreaks. Serena it was who played the bigger points better to emerge victorious, although Li Na has nothing to be ashamed of.

Then it was the turn of Zheng Jie to tackle the graceful terrier that is Justine Henin. In contrast to the first semi-final, this one was a no-contest as Zheng crumbled to the overwhelming force of the Belgian. Henin ran away with a 6-1, 6-0 scoreline and is looking good for a come-back Grand Slam triumph.

The first of the men's semi-finals was played in the night session between marathon man Marin Cilic and Briton Andy Murray. Cilic had contested 3 five-setters on his way to the last four whilst Murray had yet to drop a set en route to his penultimate match of the Open.

For the first set and a half, Cilic dominated, sweeping Murray from one side of the court to the other with some devastating forehands and gruelling rallies.

But Murray managed to hang in there, and as Cilic began to tire, Murray gained greater control, hitting winners from all over the court. Murray will now compete in just his 2nd Grand Slam final on Sunday, but will he be facing Federer or Tsonga? Their showdown begins in around five hours' time.

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