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Tennis: Five-centimetre miss saves Li from disaster

Five centimetres proved the difference between Li Na taking an early flight home and staying at the Australian Open Friday after the Chinese star narrowly survived a match point against Lucie Safarova. The gritty fourth seed, a finalist last year, was forced to rally from a set down and through a tiebreak to win 1-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 in a two-and-a-half hour marathon on another hot Melbourne day. It ensured she avoided her earliest exit at the tournament since 2008 to set up a clash with Russian 22nd seed Ekaterina Makarova for a place in the quarter-finals.

Tennis: Five-centimetre miss saves Li from disaster

Five centimetres proved the difference between Li Na taking an early flight home and staying at the Australian Open Friday after the Chinese star narrowly survived a match point against Lucie Safarova. The gritty fourth seed, a finalist last year, was forced to rally from a set down and through a tiebreak to win 1-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 in a two-and-a-half hour marathon on another hot Melbourne day. It ensured she avoided her earliest exit at the tournament since 2008 to set up a clash with Russian 22nd seed Ekaterina Makarova for a place in the quarter-finals.

Li saves match point before rallying past Safarova

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Fourth seed Li Na saved a match point before rallying past a combative Lucie Safarova to record a 1-6 7-6 6-3 third round victory and avoid becoming the highest-ranked casualty in the first week of the Australian Open on Friday Li initially appeared out of sorts as the 26-year-old Czech attacked her forehand and serve, resulting in a slew of errors from the Chinese number one, who remained committed to her aggressive style even when she was playing badly.

Tennis: Gritty Li survives scare to stay alive

Never-say-die Li Na saved a match point before battling back and overcoming Czech Lucie Safarova in three gruelling sets as she scrapped her way into the Australian Open fourth round Friday. The Chinese fourth seed, a finalist last year, rallied from a set down and through a tiebreak to win 1-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 in a two-and-a-half hour marathon on another hot Melbourne day. In doing so she avoided matching her earliest exit at the tournament since 2008, and set up a clash with Russian 22nd seed Ekaterina Makarova for a place in the quarter-finals.

Tennis: Safarova wins WTA Quebec City title

Czech third seed Lucie Safarova defeated New Zealand's sixth-seeded Marina Erakovic 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday in the final of the $235,000 WTA Bell Challenge. Safarova saved five of six break points she faced while winning five of six chances to crack Erakovic. Safarova connected on 66 percent of her first serves and broke in the last game to take the crown after 89 minutes.

Tennis: Erakovic, Safarova reach WTA Quebec final

New Zealand's sixth-seeded Marina Erakovic and Czech third seed Lucie Safarova advanced to the final of the $235,000 WTA Bell Challenge with victories on Saturday. Croatian-born Kiwi Erakovic defeated American Christina McHale 6-4, 6-3 while Safarova rallied to eliminate fifth-seeded Canadian Eugenie Bouchard 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Sunday's championship match will be a rematch of a second-round encounter at the 2009 Australian Open in which Safarova edged Erakovic 9-7 in the third set. That was their only prior matchup.
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