Zee Media Bureau/Manushree Chaumal
Melbourne: With the Vika dominance coming to an end at the Melbourne Park, a new queen awaits her coronation.
Li Na, the Chinese number One and the unheralded Dominika Cibulkova, who has had a dream run till the finals, will fight for the coveted Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup today at the Rod Laver Arena.
While Dominika defeated number 3 seed Maria Sharapova in the fourth round, pulling out a surprise win, her win over number fifth Polish seed Agnieszka Radwanska was more convincing and confident. She also ended Simona Halep`s race in the Open. However, comparatively, Li has had an easier run defeating no one seeded better than 22.
Li and Dominika have played each other four times in their careers and it`s Li who has emerged victorious all four times. Also, the Slovak has won only one set against Li in all their head to heads. But again, they have never met in a grand slam final. The Slovak, heading to become first form her country to win a grand slam, is on a career high. She has defeated top players and is confident about her chances.
Li Na is definitely the favourite to win as she has already had two final appearances here, losing both the times, to Kim Clijsters and Victoria Azarenka. However, it`s Dominika`s maiden final appearance. It can take on to her nerves, and Li might have a mental edge over the Slovak.
Whoever wins, Melbourne Park await a new women single`s champion this year.
Dominika`s road to finals
S/f: def A Radwanska 6-1 6-2
Q/f: def S Halep 6-3 6-0
Rd 4: def M Sharapova 3-6 6-4 6-1
Rd 3: def C Suarez Navarro 6-1 6-0
Rd 2: def S Voegele 6-0 6-1
Rd 1: def F Schiavone 6-3 6-4
Li`s road to finals
S/f: def E Bouchard 6-2 6-4
Q/f: def F Pennetta 6-2 6-2
Rd 4: def E Makarova 6-2 6-0
Rd 3: def L Safarova 1-6 7-6(2) 6-3
Rd 2:def B Bencic 6-0 7-6(5)
Rd 1: def A Konjuh 6-2 6-0