Melbourne: Caroline Wozniacki exits the Australian Open with her world number one ranking intact, but her semi-final surrender to China`s Li Na will stand as another missed opportunity to silence her critics with grand slam success.
The 20-year-old Dane dominated for the better part of two sets on Thursday, but crumbled when serving for the match to allow confidence player Li to grind out the win 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 at Rod Laver Arena.
"I still had chances even after I lost that match point. I was serving, I had opportunities to go 6-6 (in the second set)," said a downcast Wozniacki, whose lone grand slam final ended with defeat to Belgian Kim Clijsters at the US Open.
"If you don`t take your chances, yeah, you lose the match. That`s what happened today. One ball could make a big difference."
"I could have been sitting here as the winner. But could have, would have, if I would have done something different."
"Right now, of course it`s a bit disappointing. I just need to get through this one. I need to get back on the practice court and keep working hard and I`m sure I`ll have more chances in the future."
Wozniacki grew tired of media questions about her number one ranking and ran her own post-match news conference after reaching the fourth round.
The ebullient Dane later concocted a tale about a kangaroo scratching, after worrying that media had thought her measured responses boring.
On Thursday, the accusation was that her game was too boring, after failing to land a killer blow and then not lifting the aggression in the third set to match the feisty Chinese.
"I don`t know. I don`t really think about that," Wozniacki said. "I was just trying to keep on going."
"I was trying to take one ball at a time, and that`s it. That wasn`t enough today, so, you know, it`s just bad luck."
"I will come back. Just need to have an hour or two and I`ll be back and on the right track again."