US Open: Li Na defeats Laura Robson 6-2 7-5 to reach last 16
By Razwan Mirza - Tweet me: @RazMirza. Last Updated: August 30, 2013 11:40pm
China's Li Na gained sweet revenge on British No 1 Laura Robson 6-2 7-5 in their third-round rematch at the US Open.
It was in New York 12 months ago where Robson announced that she had come of age at the top level with back-to-back wins over Kim Clijsters and Li.
However, the 2011 French Open champion served superbly throughout, landing an impressive 11 aces on her way to victory in one hour and 21 minutes.
The experienced fifth seed broke Robson in the opening game of the match to send out an early warning on a far from busy Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Li, a former quarter-finalist at Flushing Meadows, produced some superb flat hitting from the back of the court which forced the teenager into making basic errors.
The 31-year-old from Wuhan broke Robson again in the fifth game thanks to some more accurate groundstrokes, before duly serving out the set in just 29 minutes.
Robson upped her level in second set to break her opponent for the first time in the match and then some big first serves ensured she raced into a 3-0 lead before Li finally held.
"I was really happy how I was hitting on the court. And I thought I served really well."
Li Na on beating Robson
The Chinese player then broke back on Robson's next service game after a 15th unforced error of the match from the 19-year-old, before restoring parity.
At 5-5, Li fought back from 30-0 down to earn a break point and she made Robson pay by forcing her into an error on the backhand side.
Robson, who posted an impressive victory over fellow 19-year-old Caroline Garcia in the second round, could not break back and it was Li who crashed down a second-serve ace to come away with the win.
Li, seeking her eighth career crown and second of the year after a home-soil title at Shenzhen, will next play former world No 1 Jelena Jankovic or Kurumi Nara from Japan for a place in the last eight.
"I was really happy how I was hitting on the court," Li said. "And I thought I served really well."
"I will see my doctor when I get back (about the wrist). I have to get my wisdom teeth taken out, as well."
Robson after defeat
Li said that even her coach, former Justine Henin mentor Carlos Rodriguez, would have to say he liked her effort, even though she said he would have a different message for her during practice.
"He would think I can come even more to the net. I'm still young. I can do even more hard work."
A tally of 30 unforced errors and seven winners will make painful reading for Robson and her ranking will drop a little from her current position of 32, but it has nevertheless been a promising week.
She had been bothered by a wrist injury in the run-up to the tournament and now has a problem with her teeth.
"I will see my doctor when I get back (about the wrist). I have to get my wisdom teeth taken out, as well," she said.
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