Li Na defeated Dominika Cibulkova 7-6(3), 6-0 in the finals of the 2014 Australian Open to win her second Major title.
3 years ago, Li Na made her first appearance in a Major final in Melbourne where she lost in 3 sets to Kim Clijsters. But only a few months after that loss, she went on to win her first ever Major title in Paris. Tennis had a new face that would challenge the likes of Kim at the very top of the game. Then, a slump. Li Na struggled to find the balance between her oncourt focus and offcourt responsibilities (endorsements, media) that come with being a Major champion.
The dust finally settled last year and Li Na opened it with another trip to the Australian Open final. She had to battle two opponents in that match: defending champion, Victoria Azarenka, and The Tennis Gods. A set away from a win in Melbourne, Li Na rolled her ankle then fell on her head. So much for tennis not being a contact sport—you can still connect with the ground, duh. Second time unlucky. (Is that a thing?)
Fast forward to two weeks ago and the 2014 Australian Open draw, Serena Williams is the heavy favorite to win it all and Li Na is sitting in the American’s half. There was not even a whisper of the two-time finalist making any sort of run. However, a week into the tournament, the top seeds collectively self-destructed (#nodisrespecttoopponents) and the draw opened up nicely for Li Na. Finally, in her third Championship match in Melbourne, she was able to win and take home the Daphne Akhurst trophy.
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