2013 Australian Open finalist, Li Na, is through to the second round in Melbourne, where she will now meet qualifier Belinda Bencic for a spot in the third round of the season-opening Grand Slam event. This is the first time the two competitors will meet on the tour and will likely make for an outstanding contest on Wednesday afternoon.
World No. 4 Li Na cruised through her opening round contest against 16-year-old Ana Konjuh of Croatia 6-2, 6-0. The contest lasted a total of 61 minutes . After requiring the services of YouTube to look up footage on the 16-year-old opponent she’d never seen play before, Li Na will have to do it all over again for her next round at the Australian Open against yet another 16-year-old newcomer, Belinda Bencic.
“I think it was very lucky we played today. Tomorrow [Tuesday] will be worse,” said Li referring to the heat. She said she had moved her practice for Tuesday, when temperatures are forecast to soar, to an earlier slot. “I didn’t want to kill myself on the court,” she said.
Australian Open qualifier Belinda Bencic of Switzerland is the reigning French Open and Wimbledon junior champion. She managed a fantastic upset on Monday morning, when she beat 43-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan 6-4 4-6 6-3 to reach the second round of the tournament in her professional Grand Slam debut.
This is the first time the two competitors will meet on the tour. Bencic has already eliminated the oldest player in the women’s draw and that should give her the confidence to perform admirably in the second round. While this may be the case, Li is a far tougher opponent than Date-Krumm, as her Grand Slam experience will likely send her into the third round with relative ease.
Prediction: Li Na in Straight Sets