Thirty year old Li Na returns to the Australian Open final where she faces defending champion and No. 1-ranked Victoria Azarenka. Today at 3:30pm ET!
Now seeded-sixth, Li says she’s more accustomed to the fame that comes with being one of China’s biggest sports stars. She feels more grounded for this final and less anxious, she said.
“Last time was more exciting, (more) nervous because it was my first time to be in a final,” Li said Friday. “But I think this time (I’m) more calmed down, more cool.”
Both women say their goal is to keep cool and not let their emotions get the best of them on the big day.
In that respect, Li enters the final with an advantage.
She is emotionally and physically fresher than Azarenka, who said she needed to recover from her stressful semifinal.
Azarenka advanced in straight sets over American teenager Sloane Stephens 6-1, 6-4 in their Thursday semifinal. But the victory was packed with drama and ended with the top-ranked player defending herself against accusations of gamesmanship by leaving the court for a medical timeout.