Li Na to face compatriot Peng Shuai for Shenzhen Open title
Former French Open champion will meet an old friend in all-China final
Li Na and Peng Shuai advanced at the Shenzhen Open tennis tournament on Friday to set up an all-Chinese final.
Li, Asia’s highest-ranking player in tennis history and the top seed at the WTA tournament, swept aside Germany’s Annika Beck, who was seeded eighth, 6-1, 6-3.
Peng, the fifth seed, booked her slot in the final with a walkover after American Vania King withdrew from their semi-final with a thigh injury.
Li, 31, is the defending Shenzhen Open champion and currently ranked number three in the world.
“It’ll be a tough match tomorrow, as we’re quite familiar with each other,” Li said of Peng.
“We both have improved a lot over the last year. I’m quite looking forward to the final.”
Li was leading 6-1, 5-0 when Beck reeled off three straight games, but the former French Open champion regrouped to close out the match.
King said she began feeling pain in her leg during her win over second-seeded Sara Errani in the second round and pulled out to rest before the Australian Open, which begins on Jan. 13.
Saturday’s final will be just the second in WTA history featuring two Chinese players. Li lost the first when she retired against Zheng Jie at Oeiras in 2006.