Nadal, Li advance at China Open
Updated: 2013-10-03 02:13
Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after defeating Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany in their match at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing October 2, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
BEIJING - Spaniard Rafael Nadal and Chinese number one Li Na both showed battling quality to advance into next round at the China Open on Wednesday.
Li was tested for the first time at her home-turf tournament but still proved she's in a different league defeating German Sabine Lisicki 7-5, 6-4 while Nadal also had to withstand strong challenge in the second set to win at 6-4, 7-6 (3) against German Philipp Kohlschreiber.
On a cold Wednesday night, Li and her longtime friend Lisicki both got the jitters at the start of the match, but it was Li who capitalized on Lisicki's mistakes first to have a break in the opening game.
Li, the world number five, was under-performing in the 10th game, allowing her opponent to notch up a break to level the match at 5-5, but the former French Open winner stayed cool to break back immediately and then served out for the first set, 7-5.
After holding serve in first four games of the second set, both players traded break in the next two games. In the seventh game, Li produced some sizzling winners to break again and after that the 31-year-old never looked back.
Coming up next for Li in the quarterfinals is ninth seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, who edged past Italy fifth seed Sara Errani 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-3 in an earlier match.
"I will not think about my next match, as I have a day of rest. For now I just want to enjoy my victory," said Li.