PARIS, June 2 (Agencies): Li Na is back in a Grand Slam final, reaching her second straight major championship match by defeating Maria Sharapova 6-4, 7-5 on Thursday in the French Open semifinals. The Australian Open runner-up, who became the first Chinese player to reach a Grand Slam final this year in Melbourne, was able to chase down nearly everything Sharapova had to offer on Court Philippe Chatrier.
The wind was a factor yet again at Roland Garros, and Sharapova�s serve suffered because of it. The seventhseeded Russian had 10 doublefaults in the match, including on match point.
�She has a huge and big serve, so I was like: �Please, double-fault. That way I can win the match,�� Li said. �I never believe myself I can be in final in French Open. I wish I can do even better on Saturday.�
Li finished with 24 winners, twice as many as Sharapova, and saved eight of 11 break points.
In the final, Li will face either defending champion Francesca Schiavone or No. 11 Marion Bartoli. They were to play later on Thursday in the other semifinal match.
Sharapova was attempting to become only the 10th woman to complete a career Grand Slam. She was broken early in the first set, and then in her final two service games. In the eighth game, shortly after breaking Li to get back on serve at 4-3, Sharapova had three double-faults.