|Li Na of China celebrates after winning women's singles quarterfinal match against Flavia Pennetta of Italy at Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 21, 2014. Li Na won 2-0. (Xinhua/Li Jundong)|
MELBOURNE, Jan. 21 -- Two-time runner-up and fourth seed Li Na of China beat Italian Flavia Pennetta with an impressive 6-2, 6-2 victory in Tuesday's quarterfinals at the Australian Open.
Li was rarely troubled in the one-sided match, completely outclassing her opponent in 67 minutes to reach the final four of the Australian Open after last year's final loss to Victoria Azarenka.
Li, the fourth seed, broke Pennetta in the first game of the match, following up with two more to lead the first set 5-0. The Italian, who stunned No. 9 seed Angelique Kerber in the fourth round, broke back in the sixth game but Li still managed to take the set 6-2.
Then Li took 32 minutes to win the one-sided second set 6-2 by breaking Pennetta another two times.
Li and Pennetta who is one day elder than the Chinese, tied 2-2 in their previous four meetings. Pennetta defeated Li 6-2, 7-6(7-4) in their last meeting in Sydney in 2010.
Pennetta has played the best tennis of her career since returning last year from a wrist injury, which caused her ranking to drop as low as No. 166 Back to the court from injury, the Italian reached her first Grand Slam semifinal at the U.S. Open and then her first quarterfinals at the Australian Open.
It will be Li's fourth semifinals in five years at the Melbourne Park. She will play against the winner between No.14 seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia and 30th-seeded Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard.
The absence of top seed Serena Williams opens the draw for Li. Williams was defeated by Ivanovic in the Sunday's fourth round.
Although Li claimed her only major title to date three years ago at the French Open, it is at Melbourne Park where she has performed most consistently at Grand Slam level.
She lost the 2011 and 2013 finals to Kim Clijsters and Victoria Azarenka and also reached the Australian Open semifinals in 2010.