Clijsters, Li edge towards final rematch


World number one Wozniacki reached the Australian Open third round on Wednesday as Li Na and Kim Clijsters moved towards a 2011 final rematch and Victoria Azarenka thrashed Casey Dellacqua. Wozniacki was pushed hard in the second set by Georgia’s Anna Tatishvili before she sealed it on a tie-break to win 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) and set up a clash against Romanian Monica Niculescu.
In the last match of the day, third seed Azarenka shrugged off the crowd’s mockery of her distinctive screaming to crush Australian wildcard Dellacqua 6-1, 6-0 with a ruthless display of power and control. After Dellacqua won her first service game, the world number three seized control to win the next 12 games in a row, serving well and returning beautifully to keep the Australian under constant pressure. Earlier, 2011 finalist Li cantered to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Australian wildcard Olivia Rogowska and defending champion Clijsters demolished France’s Stephanie Foretz Gacon 6-0, 6-1 in just 47 minutes. Their wins left them on course for a highly anticipated fourth round meeting. The shock of the day came on the Margaret Court Arena, where little-known Italian Romina Oprandi outshone 10th seed and compatriot Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 6-3. And the top-seeded Wozniacki was in trouble during the second set against Tatishvili, only to dig herself out of a big hole. The Dane dropped serve in the fourth game and only just managed to hang on two games later to stop Tatishvili opening up a 5-1 lead. The world number 83 had a chance to serve for the set at 5-3 but a poor service game let Wozniacki back into the match and she won the tie-break to seal victory.