2nd seeded Victoria Azarenka (Player Profile) took on 4th seeded Na Li (Player Profile) in the White Group in the first match of the final round robin part of the TEB BNP WTA Championships on Friday afternoon. Azarenka led the head to head 6-4 going into this match, having won their last five encounters dating back from this year’s Australian Open final to these championships in 2011.
At this stage, only two players out of Azarenka, Li or Jankovic will qualify for the semis. Both Serena and Vika had already secured their 1st and 2nd place year end finishes, but Li had a lot to play for, because if she won she would automatically end the year at number 3. If not, she would have to win the final to finish 3rd to achieve her highest ranking.
Li got play underway and went 3-0 up in the first 15 minutes. Azarenka then held her serve and broke back to trail 2-3. After a very prolonged game, Li broke again to lead 4-2. Azarenka served for the set, but the in form Chinese broke to love to take the set 6-2 in fifty one minutes.
The Chinese player began the second set and ran up a 5-0 lead against an opponent whose serve deserted her throughout the match – including foot faults – which led to the total disintegration of her game. Serving to avoid a bagel set, Azarenka held her serve but only put off the inevitable when Li served to take the set at 6-1 and the match in an hour and seventeen minutes.