Australian Open: China's Li Na races into quarter-finals

Two-time Melbourne finalist Li Na brushed aside Russia's Ekaterina Makarova 6-2, 6-0 win in 59 minutes.

Updated: January 19, 2014 11:33 IST
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Melbourne: Chinese star Li Na raced past Russia's Ekaterina Makarova in less than an hour to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals at a canter on Sunday. The two-time Melbourne finalist and 2011 French Open winner was rarely extended in the 6-2, 6-0 win in 59 minutes in warm conditions on Hisense Arena. (Click here for all the updates on Australian Open)

The world number four is now just two wins from her third Melbourne final, and three victories from ending her jinx at the season's opening Grand Slam.

The 31-year-old led the 2011 final before losing to Kim Clijsters, and last year she was ahead against Victoria Azarenka but dramatically twice rolled her ankle and briefly blacked out. (Also read: Pennetta makes her first Australian Open quarters)

Li's all-court game was too much for Makarova, and she broke in the third game when the Russian 22nd seed failed to clear the net with a forehand drop shot.

After fighting off break points in the fifth game, she broke again for 5-2 and then sealed the first set with an emphatic backhand winner. (Serena stunned by Ivanovic)

She did not ease up in the second set, breaking immediately with a forehand at the net and again with a sizzling cross-court backhand to go 3-0 up.

The finish line was in sight but Li had to refocus after conceding two break points in the following game, and she aggressively forced two errors from Makarova to maintain her advantage.

Another break for Li made it 5-0 and she finished Makarova off in stylish fashion, coming in to the net and burying a backhand volley deep in the left corner.

Li will next play Italy's Flavia Pennetta, who at 31 is one day older than the Chinese player, with both turning 32 next month. "At least she's one day older than me, so I'll play an older player," said Li. "So nobody will talk about my age."

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