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Tennis: Li Na, the hottest property in tennis

Forget Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova -- Li Na is regarded as the hottest property in tennis, not just because of her ability, but because she has opened the door to the sport's future. In becoming Asia's first Grand Slam champion at the 2011 French Open, the wise-cracking Chinese star brought tennis to a huge potential new audience including 1.3 billion of her compatriots and a region encompassing two-thirds of humanity.

Tennis: Cibulkova hails 'beautiful' feat in reaching final

Dominika Cibulkova became the first Slovakian to make a Grand Slam singles final Thursday after stunning fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska at the Australian Open, a feat she called "beautiful". The 20th seed was in inspired form to rip the Pole to shreds 6-1, 6-2 and make her first Grand Slam final in 26 attempts. "I'm playing the final, so that's something beautiful. It's like a dream. So I will go just out there and play my best, try to do my best," she said of facing Chinese fourth seed Li Na in Saturday's final.

Tennis: Bouchard hailed as new Sharapova

Canadian teen Eugenie Bouchard Thursday said she was destined for the top echelons of the game after announcing her arrival on the world stage, as her agent hailed her as the new Maria Sharapova. The 19-year-old, known as Genie, has turned heads and won plaudits from the tennis community with her eye-catching run to the Australian Open semi-finals. She had also won the hearts of fans with her confident personality and clean-cut good looks, with many predicting a big future ahead.

Tennis: Cibulkova beats Radwanska to make Aussie Open final

Slovakian underdog Dominika Cibulkova stunned fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska Thursday, losing just three games to storm into an Australian Open final against China's Li Na. The 20th seed was in inspired form to rip the Pole to shreds 6-1, 6-2 and not only make her first Grand Slam final in 26 attempts but also become the first player from her country to get so far.

Tennis: Grand Slam door opens for Li

China's Li Na will hope to seize a golden opportunity at the Australian Open as the top seed left standing heads into a semi-final against teen sensation Eugenie Bouchard Thursday. Li is the highest ranked women's player left at the season-opening Grand Slam with world number one Serena Williams, defending champion Victoria Azarenka and third seed Maria Sharapova all shock early exits. It opens the door for the fourth seed to end her jinx at Melbourne Park where she has lost twice in the final in the last three years, to Kim Clijsters in 2011 and Azarenka last year.

Tennis: Azarenka blames focus as three-peat goes begging

Defending champion Victoria Azarenka admitted Wednesday she lacked focus after blowing a golden opportunity to win her third straight Australian Open when she was bundled out in the quarter-finals. The second seed, who won the last two tournaments at Melbourne Park, made 47 unforced errors as her game was taken apart by aggressive fifth seed Agnieszka Radwansa in another big tournament upset. The Pole came through 6-1, 5-7, 6-0 to end the Belarusian's 18-match Australian Open winning streak -- and the world number two said the defeat hurt.

Tennis: Radwanska shatters Azarenka jinx to reach semis

Agnieszka Radwansa played the role of underdog to perfection as she finally broke her jinx against two-time defending champion Victoria Azarenka and knocked her out of the Australian Open Wednesday. The determined Pole battled to a 6-1, 5-7, 6-0 win to send the Belarusian packing with the top three seeds now out of the Grand Slam following the defeats of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. It was a major scalp for Radwanska, who had lost all seven previous meetings with the Belarusian, and now goes into a semi-final with Slovak 20th seed Dominika Cibulkova.

Tennis: Champ Azarenka crashes in latest Open shock

Two-time defending champion Victoria Azarenka followed Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova out of the Australian Open Wednesday in another big shock that ensures the Grand Slam tournament will have a new women's champion. The Belarusian was bundled out in the quarter-finals by Poland's Agnieszka Radwansa 6-1, 5-7, 6-0, meaning the top three women's seeds have all failed spectacularly at the season-opening major.

Radwanska ends Azarenka reign at Melbourne Park

By Ian Ransom MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Silent assassin Agnieszka Radwanska toppled a shrieking Victoria Azarenka 6-1 5-7 6-0 on Wednesday to end the Belarusian's bid for a hat-trick of titles and reach her maiden Australian Open semi-final. The crafty Pole frustrated Azarenka with a scrambling, cat-and-mouse game early and completely dismantled the Belarusian in the final set to close out one of her finest victories in two sun-drenched hours at Rod Laver Arena.

Azarenka beats herself up to lose title defense

By Ian Ransom MELBOURNE (Reuters) - After two years in the spotlight as Australian Open champion, Victoria Azarenka was reduced to a spectator against Agnieszka Radwanska as she crashed out of the quarter-finals in a bout of self-flagellation on Wednesday. Though digging deep to prise a set from the enterprising Pole, the world number two's title defense ended dismally, with a "bagel" the final flourish on the 6-1 5-7 6-0 score at Rod Laver Arena.
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