Li Na on course to defend WTA Shenzhen Open title after beating Monica Niculescu

Last Updated: 02/01/14 2:02pm

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Li Na: Remains on course to defend her Shenzhen Open title

Li Na: Remains on course to defend her Shenzhen Open title

Sky Bet

Top seed Li Na remains on course to defend her WTA Shenzhen Open title after overcoming a stern test from Monica Niculescu in the quarter-finals.

Cheered on by a partisan crowd in the Longgang Sports Centre, the world No 3 had to dig deep but eventually saw off her Romanian opponent in three tough sets, 7-5 4-6 6-4.

The 31-year-old beat Klara Zakopalova to win the inaugural edition of the tournament 12 months ago and will next face Germany's Annika Beck as she bids to emerge triumphant on home soil again.

Eighth-seeded Beck also needed three sets but came good to record a 3-6 6-3 6-1 victory over Austria's Patricia Mayr-Achleitner.

There was more for home fans to cheer as fifth seed Peng Shuai also reached the last four with a straightforward 6-3 6-2 success over Jana Cepelova of Slovakia.

Shuai will face Vania King in the semi-finals after the American produced an equally impressive performance to defeat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-2 6-4.

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WTA Shenzhen Open 2014

Li Na (R): Defeated fellow Chinese player Peng Shuai in Shenzhen Open final

Li defends Shenzhen title

Chinese star Li Na beat compatriot Peng Shuai 6-4 7-5 to claim victory in the final of the Shenzhen Open.

Li Na was rarely troubled as she saw off Germany's Annika Beck 6-1 6-3

Li and Peng to contest final

China's top two, Li Na and Peng Shuai, will contest the final of the Shenzhen Open after routine semi-final wins.

Li Na: Eased through as other seeds fell in Shenzhen

Easy for Li in Shenzhen

Li Na eased into the quarter-finals of the Shenzhen Open with a 6-1 6-4 victory over Nadiya Kichenok of Ukraine.

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