Li Na will aim to be third time lucky at the Australian Open when she takes on the rampant Dominika Cibulkova in the final in Melbourne on Saturday.
Where to Watch Live
The match is scheduled for a 7.30 pm AEDT (2 pm IST) start with Live coverage on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD2 in India. The match can also be live streamed online HERE. Catch the action in Africa HERE, while viewers in the US can watch the matches via live streaming HERE. UK viewers can live stream the match HERE and HERE.
Li has reached two of the last three finals here at the Australian Open, but failed to get her hands on that wonderful Grand Slam trophy on both occasions, with Kim Clijsters in 2011 and Victoria Azarenka last year getting the better of the Chinese.
However, when Li takes court against Cibulkova on Saturday, the number four seed will be the favourite, and the one expected to walk away with the crown.
"I feel last year is the same, you know," Li said when asked if the scenario is a little different now that she is the favourite to win the first Grand Slam of the year.
"You never know what happen during the match, so yeah.
"I think I'm ready. Same like her. I think both should be ready. After six matches, everyone has more confidence to prepare for the final."
Cibulkova has come out of the shadows in Melbourne this year, knocking out one big opponent after another, but Li does hold the advantage in the fact that she is familiar with the surroundings of a big Australian Open final, while Cibulkova will be tasting her first.
"If you get more chances to come to the final, you get more experience. So, you know, at least me and Dominika, 50/50," Li added. "Everyone has a chance to win the title.
"Just come to the court, just play, don't think too much."
Cibulkova was expected to end her march in the semifinal against Agnieszka Radwanska, but the No. 20 seed, one of the shortest players on the tour, left the Pole, who had outclassed two-time defending champion Victoria Azarenka in the quarters, gasping for air in another masterful performance.
"I haven't spent so much time on the court [this year]," Cibulkova said. "I'm playing in a Grand Slam. I'm in the finals of the Grand Slam. The only three-set match was against [Maria] Sharapova. That's something unbelievable.
"But I was going into every match, you know, just to play my game and play well. This is what has happened."
Cibulkova will have to ensure she does not get overwhelmed by the magnitude of the occasion, something that can happen to anyone in their first Grand Slam final.
"It will be my first Grand Slam final," she added. "I'm still enjoying my win over Aga Radwanska. It's good to have one more day, you know.
"The tournament is long, it's two weeks. But if you take it step by step, you give all in these two weeks, then you can enjoy."
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