Shenzhen, China (Sports Network) - Li Na of China and Czech Klara Zakopalova
were easy semifinal winners Friday and will meet for the title at the
inaugural Shenzhen Open.
The top-seeded Li eased past countrymate Peng Shuai, 6-4, 6-0, while the
fifth-seeded Zakopalova was a 6-1, 6-3 winner over Romania's Monica Niculescu.
Li struggled with her serve in the first set and was broken twice, but managed
to break Peng three times before dominating the second set. The former French
Open champ won 25 of the 33 total points played in the second set.
Zakopalova converted 6-of-8 break opportunities while saving 5-of-7 break
chances by Niculescu en route to her first final appearance since 2010. She is
just 2-5 all-time in finals and hasn't won a tournament since 2005.
Li is 6-8 in finals, including just 1-3 last year. Her lone title came at the
U.S. Open tune-up in Cincinnati.
Zakopalova has won two of the three lifetime meetings against Li, although
last year's lone matchup was a 6-1, 6-0 Li rout in Indian Wells.
The Sports Network