2014 Australian Open Women’s Final [Live Streaming Info and Prediction]: Li Loses Again, Cibulkova’s Cinderella Run Ends with a Grand Slam Title
By James Patrick Quizon | January 24, 2014 1:37 PM EST
It’s an unlikely pair in the women’s singles final of the 2014 Australian Open, thanks to huge upsets of top seeds Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova in earlier rounds.
Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia celebrates defeating Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in their women's singles semi-final match at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne
However, the finalists—Li Na of China and Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia are not complaining.
Li is appearing in her third final in Melbourne, where she has settled for runners-up honors in two of the last three years. Meanwhile, Cibulkova is not apologising for the unexpected appearance in the final; after all, she is to blame for the Sharapova upset and then beat higher-seeded players in the fourth round, quarters and semis to advance to the championship round.
With the top three seeds out by the semifinals, the 31-year-old Chinese veteran campaigner was pegged as the favourite to win it all in Melbourne.
Don’t tell that to the 24-year-old Slovakian who has now won the last four matches as the underdog. She beat 16th seed Carla Suarez Navarro (SPA), 6-1, 6-0, in the third round; Maria Sharapova (RUS), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, in the round of 16; 11th seed Simona Halep (ROU) in the quarterfinals; and 5th seed Agnieska Radwanska (POL) in the semifinals.
For her part, the 4th seed’s most memorable and important match would be her third round encounter with Lucie Safarova of Czech Republic. China's bet lost the first set, 1-6, and survived a match point when she was down 5-6 in the second set. The two-time Australian Open finalist buckled down to work, won the tiebreak and won the third with ease to advance to the next round.
After staring death in the face-- and surviving-- Li then cruised to wins in her next matches with straight sets win over Ekaterina Makarova (RUS), 6-2, 6-0, in the fourth round; Flavia Pennetta (ITA), 6-2, 6-2, in the quarterfinals; and Eugenie Bouchard (CAN), 6-2, 6-4, in the semifinals.
Li has one majors title—the 2011 French Open—under her belt, while this is the farthest Cibulkova has gotten to in any Grand Slam tourney. The latter is also the first Slovak—man or woman—to appear in a Grand Slam final.
Will Li’s veteran smarts get better of the rather inexperienced opponent? Or will Cibulkova finish her Cinderella run with an Aussie Open title?
Li Na (China) vs. Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia) at 7:30 pm AEDT
Li (1.33) vs. Cibulkova (3.34)
Li (-3.5) vs. Cibulkova (+3.5)
All-time head-to-head (4 meetings): Li leads Cibulkova, 4-0
Prediction: Li loses third appearance in the Aussie final; she lost to Kim Clijsters (2011) and Victoria Azarenka (2013) in the previous two and Cibulkova’s fairy tale run ends with a Majors hardware. On Saturday, Slovakia is bigger than China as Cibulkova becomes the first Slovakian to win a Grand Slam title.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 1: San Francisco Giants 7, Kansas City Royals 1 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series - Game 2: Kansas City Royals 7, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
- NFL Thursday Recap - Denver Broncos 35, San Diego Chargers 21: Peyton Manning Has 3 TDs In Easy Win [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 3: Kansas City Royals 3, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Rafael Nadal On Roger Federer: ‘He’s A Good Person, A Fantastic Player And A Great Man On Court’
- Jeremy Lin’s Big Break: Steve Nash Out For The Season For The Los Angeles Lakers
- NBA News: Teammate Stresses Jeremy Lin's Importance To The Lakers
- Manny Pacquiao Is Better Than Floyd Mayweather Jr. In Basketball Claims Freddie Roach
- Chelsea FC: Mourinho Hints Cesc Fabregas Could Succeed John Terry As Club Captain
- Xiaomi Redmi 1S vs. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Verizon Motorola Droid Turbo Leaked Live Images Surfaces, Scheduled To Get Unveiled On Oct 28
- Update HTC One M7 with LG G2 with Android 4.4.2 as Sprint OTA: Fixes and Installation
- U.S. Targets Buyers of ISIS Oil, Threatens Sanctions
- ISIS Syria Airstrike Bombing Has Killed 550 People, Civilians Included
- Russia Blocking OSCE Monitoring Of Its Border With Ukraine
- Russia Slams US 'Double Standards' In The Fight Against ISIS